Designing objects, projects and architecture

At Escola da Cidade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the course “Desenho do objeto” students have understood to review their perception of the design as soon as they started constructing prototypes and come up against concrete problems.

If we see design as a form of language then its poor communication produces confused ideas and the end project will be ill-formulated. It is hard for architecture students to grasp this because “everything works on paper” and errors remain hidden because people rarely construct anything in a lecture hall.
Rachel Wagner, Ana Robert, A luz que pasa entre as folhas
Top : Emanuele D'antrassi, Tapete de L(in)uz. Left : Rachel Wagner, Ana Robert, A luz que pasa entre as folhas
Two years ago, we were asked to hold a design course at the Escola da Cidade to help students address this problem. The key issue was to show students the difficulties of design, which is only possible when you see a project actually constructed. We suggested a course during which students would draw up a project and then construct it right away. It would be impossible to do this with a house in just six months but it can be done with objects: chairs, toys, installations and lights. This was the focus of the semester and the results are published here.
Romulo Machado, Rafael Miranda, Statera
Left : Stefano Marongiu, Bujaca. Right : Camilo Concha, Thiago Benucci, Pratopreto
Despite its brief lifespan, the course is achieving excellent results. The students are prompted to review their perception of the design as soon as they start constructing it and come up against concrete problems. The process produces a constant to and fro between design and object, passing via models and prototypes. In the case of lighting, the students realised that a single design involves multiple considerations: whether an object’s use dictates a certain design choice; the source, type and colour of the light; whether to adopt reflecting panels; which materials and finishes. All this poses complicated decisions that gradually and considerably alter the original sketch. Students discover attachments and details; they test different materials; physics and engineering issues go down on paper and then return into space.
There is no intention to produce industrial prototypes behind this process but it offers an opportunity to think outside the box and stimulates conceptual appropriations of raw material, and the production of ready-mades. The small scale means there is always a perception of the project as a whole and it is easy to return to the drawing board.
At the end of the course, the students discuss the designs in class and an exhibition is immediately set up to allow the whole faculty to see and interact with the work done.
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August–November 2014
Desenho do objeto
Escola da Cidade
Tutor : Alexandre Benoit, Guilherme Mendes da Rocha, Danilo Zamboni.
Thanks to professors Rafic Farah, Carol Tonetti and the designer Fernando Prado, who kindly held a stimulating lecture during the course.
Adriana Domingues, Alessandra Peviani, Ana Carolina Campos, Ana Tranchesi, Anna Robert, Antônio Prado, Ariel Somekh, Bárbara Fernandes, Bárbara Amaral, Beatriz Hoyos, Camilo Concha, Cauê Marins, Emanuele Antrassi, Francy Woo, Gabriel Roemer, Giulia Godinho, Guega Carvalho, Guilherme Yamamoto, Gustavo Cavalcanti, Helena Kozuchowicz, Helena Caixeta, Julia Pinto, Juliana Ricci, Laila Salman, Laura Peters, Leandra Miyasaka, Leticia Amado, Luisa Cleaver, Manoela Pessoa, Manuela Lourenço, Marcela Lino, Marcelo Moreno, Maria Pia Fahhan, Mariana Geroldo, Marília Correa, Marina Cecchi, Marina Ribeiro, Martha Levy, Morena Costa, Pauline Semitela, Pedro Rasello, Rachel Wagner, Rafael Miranda, Rebeca Cabral, Roberto Brotero, Rodrigo Voegeli, Romulo Machado, Thiago Benucci, Stefano Marongiu, Victoria Laste, Willian Fante

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