Design for debate III

Proposal to build a design collection that is a device for meeting, socializing and occupying a space

In the second semester of the academic year 2019-2020 we return to the Seminars “Design for Debate” integrated in the Seminar Unit of the 3rd year of Industrial Design. This initiative has been providing the entire ESAD.CR academic community a discussion forum open to external guests, alongside a proposal to discover informal and unusual spaces where such discussion can take place.

Its first edition (2017-2018) “Design for Debate” took place in the Underground space of ESAD.CR, now occupied by subsequent activities, such as the opening of the academic year 2019-2020. During this first edition of “Design for Debate”, an arena was built by the students of the Unit with low-cost materials (bricks and grass rugs) that provided an open and informal debate space that welcomed guests such as Marta de Menezes, Fernando Brízio or Studio Pedrita.

The success and quality of the meeting provided by this occupation and organization of an original space – which becomes part of the students’ circuit and experience even after the activity is closed – led us to repeat the strategy in the second edition and to make this methodology integral part of the curricular unit’s practices. Thus, in the academic year 2018-2019, the chosen space was Viveiro space, a greenhouse set up in a relatively little frequented area of ​​the campus, as part of a student project dedicated to the protection of native plant species. The choice of this equipment made it possible to promote the debate in an environment close to nature and environmental concerns that shape the activity of contemporary design. The auditorium created inside the greenhouse was built once again with low-cost materials (construction net, bricks and straw bales) and received guests such as Bárbara Coutinho, Gonçalo Prudêncio or Henrique Ralheta.

The time has come to design the 2020 edition, we launched the challenge of developing a DIY project taking as its motto the project “Autoprogettazione” by Enzo Mari and subsequent updates by contemporary designers. The objective remains to apply a methodology for involving students in the construction of the meeting space, using low-cost materials, and this time they should choose and build some of the most relevant pieces of furniture in the History of Design and that have been projected as Open Source. With this proposal, it is possible not only to work with students fundamental aspects of current design thinking and design, but also to provide the school with a “collection” of iconic examples of DIY furniture designed by different designers, creating simultaneously new equipment to be used by the entire community. The space chosen to host these pieces and hold the seminars was the Campus 3 Bar, managed by the Social Action Services of IPL.