Antonio Scarponi, Torino – The Architectural Magazine Abitare launched a project called Geodesign in collaboration with the international event Torino World Design Capital 2008. The aim of this project is about connecting designers, community, and companies to design specific project related to a specific need of a specific community in a specific context: this is a geodesign practice. A competition was launched. Designers from all over the world applied with a methodological approach. Workshops were carried on with different communities of people in the city. An exhibition presenting the prototypes produced was opened on May 23rd in Torino, Pala Fuksas, Piazza della Repubblica 25.
I was one of them and now I am going to tell you a bit about the project we made.
Marco Lampugnani (co-author of this project) and I, applied with a methodological proposal for a free market called “Balon”. This is a special place. “Free” meas that anyone could go and sell stuff. Anything have a marked and a value there. You can buy the most meaningless broken chair, toy, spare shoe or hardware tool. If you have nothing to loose, in the sense that you do not have anything, but you collect something in the street – means that you have something to sell in the Balon market.
Every Saturday at five a.m. a battle for “the two square meters” begin. The negotiations of land occupation takes time and bitter blood. The association “vivi balon” is there to “rule” the place and make sure that anybody get hurts. Our task was to find a way to define the market plots in an ultimate way. The street is made of stones and paint is washed away very easily. They’d liked also to have folding trolley to deliver the goods and shelters to protect merchants from rain and sun.
In our proposal these are the tree elements of an instant kind of urbanization, as the market is, an instant place. We worked associated with two multinational companies: IKEA and Italcementi.
1. dices: a gambling game like an other. We started defining a tile to be graved in the pavement like a stumbling stone in order to design an element that could qualify the public space and spot the market position. The tile would have nine holes, say like a special dice. Closing the holes would allow to make a number. And by attaching them one next to the other, a number with one or more ciphers could be made. So trough the production of one single tile we would have the possibility to customize an infinite possibility of numbers by simply closing the holes with liquid concrete. The tiles would be arranged in the pavement in a way that they could spot a car park plot when the market is not in use as it happen during the week.
2. broder: “My name is buck and I am here to fuck”. Each tile has a square hole in the center. This allow to stick a vertical element produced by IKEA belonging to the series called “broder” (8€). With four of them one can clear a position. We used a shower curtain, also from IKEA to make a shelter. And by using the Broder hight extension, the shelter an inclination.
3. RIKEA: A manual without kit. So the folding trolley was called. We have assembled it using a “svingen” (a folding bed 25€) two IKEA bags sawed together (2€ each), three “broder” shelf and two bicycle wheels. Everything is assembled together with dry hardware, no welding and no drilled oles (pure brico-freaks).
Here follows some pictures of the exhibition.
The next issue of “abitare” will be released with a catalog of this event and a special report on Geodesign. Stay tuned.