On Thursday of the last week we had the first workshop with Bridget Harvey.
We were asked to bring 4-6 objects representing the chosen theme.

The day before, while I was walking in search of objects to take, I found myself in a shop/garage full of absurd things and objects saved from the garbage. There I found 4 of my 5 objects.


– a parking light (presumably)
– an outdoor lamp holder (industrial style)
– white and red tape (type of work in progress)
– the yellow protection of poles on construction sites
– 26 led 7 segment units (already had)

After an introduction with some useful notions we answered some questions about our project in a limited time.

First task:
– I’m searching (topic).. symbols, shapes, light with an instintive value for people
– In order to (why).. understand how tis shapes could affect us
– I’m making (what).. object that guide actions
– Using (material).. materials that refers to a function/utility
– By (technique)..
– To explore (concepts).. language of shapes
– So that we can (bigger picture).. use these symbols in every day life to have intuitive action

This exercise helped me to understand where I have clear ideas and where I need to understand which way to go.
Leaving the field of the technique I want to work with empty made me realize that I don’t have a precise material in my mind but more a direction of language I want to experiment with. Of course, within this language, the matrimonial plays a fundamental role, but I don’t intend to put up stakes that limit this research.

Second task: write 3-5 key words and 3-5 antonyms.
– instintive, symbol, universality, incoscious, actions
– planned, vernacular, acquired

Third task: list of where this object could bring me:
– a parking light: take part of it and change the intermittance of the light, put the light on top of the car and see if the people let me pass
– an outdoor lamp holder: transform in something else, undesrtand the pattern on the lamp, cost production
– white and red tape: change color, change verse of the strips
– the yellow protection of poles on construction sites: testing the material (durability), expand it in a mold, place in another context, scratch it
– led 7 segment units: clock no sense, new composition of segments, discover all the possible composition (16 segments led)

This last list of things that I could do with these objects give me ideas on what I can do next to go deeper in my research making experiments.

As last we had to create 4-6 objects in 45 minutes using the objects we’ve brought in and other elements we find.
This is my outcome:

The lamp with the light of the car park was the last of the objects created and I think it is trivial in its composition and also in its meaning. It would be interesting to change the way the lens hood turns inside or to disassemble the two parts (casing and lens hood) and create two separate objects. Would the reference to the parking light still be that strong?

The crown of “numbers” I initially interpreted as a watch to put on the head that indicates only the hours and not the minutes, as if to give an incomplete formation. Looking at this object in retrospect I can also think of the crown of thorns of Christ and the evil in wearing it. In a completely different way I imagine the possibility of not having numbers but of having letters that make up a word.

The wristwatch with the two displays I did trying to use the shape of the yellow gummy material and the function of the numbers in indicating the time. His initial idea is therefore very weak but an input that gave me Biridget about the theme of data protection (material to protect + digital) made me think that perhaps instinctively I may have thought this thing being a theme that interests me very much. In this case, therefore, the materials speak in a conceptual sense representing a current theme that concerns all of us.
This theme of protection and archiving of our data and of what we produce digitally is a theme that I am carrying on in my daily life trying to create my own digital memory archived in a functional way but I know that it is a theme that is very different from what I want to pursue during the course. This reflection makes me think I have gone to meet a topic dear to me unconsciously and I know I do not want to use this symbol (LED 7 segments) in my project. The reason why I don’t want to use it is because I’m already obsessed with it (I call it “infinito digitale“) and I brought it as a symbol of how it can take on different meanings depending on the context in which it is introduced. At the same time, however, this symbol is also part of the research I’m doing and maybe it was my real starting point in thinking about this project even if I want it not to be the protagonist of the developments I’ll be doing.

The armchair with the wooden spikes is a symbolic object to identify how we automatically give a meaning and a function to a material based on its characteristics. This material immediately made me think that I could use it as a comfortable seat in which to lie down.
Looking at the object again, I think it expresses the message I wanted to convey: a comfortable but unusable piece of furniture. But this brings me to think also that the result of what I will do will be something that we can really use and not only conceptual.

The last of these objects created is a lamp holder filled with materials that are used to protect objects and people.
It is totally conceptual because they are protecting the inside of the object and at the same time they are protected by the object itself. Their function is always the same but useless in this case. These materials are used exclusively for their function of protecting but how could we use them instead? What are the characteristics? Could they have other functions always keeping the meaning of protecting?
The remaining part of the yellow material in the shape of a tube I put it in my room attached to one of the legs of the desk, this took me immediately to think that its function is exactly the same as that of the road (protect) but as soon as I see it in the home, on the sharp leg of my table, I think it is put there for a child even if there are none.

This exercise leads me to think that each of these objects has a small part of what I want to do and much more to discard. The industrial aesthetics of the parking lamp, the proper use of the material in an improper environment, the adaptable symbols and the creation of something really usable.

Gabriele
(09.10.2019)