Master Beyond Products Workshops with international professionals
The Master Beyond Products, which this course 2023-24 starts its first edition, organizes a series of weekly workshops directed to its students and imparted by different international professionals recognized in the world of design.
This master proposes new ways of understanding the product and questions the preestablished knowledge, breaking the paradigms from the actual context. The workshops will take place during the first trimester and will be carried out, for the most part, in the TMDC space. These have been the first workshops of the cycle:
The first workshop, directed by the directors of the master Luis Eslava and Jordi Canudas, is inspired by the etymological origin of the word colleague. The term comes from Latin ‘cumpanis’, which means ‘with bread’. The idea was that participants shared their identities with each other by holding a dinner where they could share bread and make “buenas migas”. The event took place in Canudas’ studio, where a nine-person group had to decide the design of the dinner. Some of the ideas shared were to build their own cutlery or to use characteristic ingredients from their country, taking into account everyone’s necessities, such as vegetarian diets or possible intolerances.
To begin with the organization process, they thought about what bread is and why it is used for. They also considered different types of bread, such as the baguette or the pita. The final presentation counted with a variety of bread and toppings, warming the atmosphere and teaching the students to work together and trusting the result.
The concept around which the project has orbited is the sun, a broad idea with which one can work in different ways. Guillermo Santomà, who directed the project, asked each student to choose an object related to the idea and to try defining it using one word. Eight words were defined by searching their meaning on Google, to help with their creative process, and drawing some sketches. They also looked for references for each concept and, lastly, they came up with a proposal that included every idea and connected them to each other.
The majority of conclusions took a bathtub as a reference. They decided to build it as a nest by using a black fabric (EPDM). Some doubts they had were related to how they could hold the bathtub and how they could optimize the fabric. The students showed great potential in various aspects of the designing process and some of the doubts were solved during its development. The result represented an alien womb where two students swam while embracing the darkness around them. They describe the project as a rebirthing experience that allowed them to create freely and to surprise themselves with what cannot be controlled during the creation process.
The third workshop, directed by Marc Morro, has consisted of reproducing the noted project made by first-grade students of the Degree on Design during their first trimester at Elisava: Cadires a la Rambla. Marc Morro set up this workshop as a tribute to the career of Josep Novell.
This time the students of the Master’s Degree were the ones that had to build a chair by using a wooden plank of a maximum of 15mm without the help of screws, nails, or glue. The participants had to create their designs, taking into account their ergonomics, to replicate the model in some mock-up miniatures afterwards, and finally decide which of their ideas they would use to build their final project.
The fourth project will be directed by the designer Thomas Thwaites, coinciding with his visit to Elisava to hold the conference Toasters, Goats, Cars, and Climate last Monday.
In it, the participating students have to think about what the designer calls ‘weak signal’, a term used in future studies that refers to change indicators. It should be something that attracts someone’s attention, that is unusual, or some idea that might indicate the beginning of a new social trend. Some of the resources in which these types of signals can be found are headlines from a newspaper, pieces from a research project or even tweets.