Evaluative text

Develop an innovative body of work appropriate to your research concerns.

Through the research developed in the second unit, the Project Proposal has changed in the objectives to be pursued in order to achieve the two goals. These goals have not changed and we can define them together as the creation of a collection of domestic objects that adopts visual elements (shapes, lights, materials) from the urban language, translating the actions we instinctively perform in public spaces into private ones.

This decontextualization, in addition to creating beneficial conflicts between the two environments, is committed to giving importance to the urban details that make up the identity of a city.

In defining in greater depth the context in which I am working, I have been able to understand what are the elements to be elaborated and which methodology to use.

In order to arrive at a reinterpretation of these elements, I carried out the Research Paper by analyzing the reference context, dividing it into three sections: the history of urban symbology, semiotics of shapes and colours of this language, Ugo La Pietra’s research on the erosion of the barrier between the urban and domestic environment.

The design of the products must put these three parts in communication, taking La Pietra’s research as the basis for connecting the internal and external environment and using the history and instinctive perception of urban elements to translate their meaning. In this way, it will be possible to convert the urban language in the domestic environment creating objects that are part of both spaces.

Independently generate ideas with a coherent rationale that are underpinned by research, and sustain a self-initiated programme of designer maker practice. 

The analysis made during this unit led to the reinterpretation of urban forms through a work of deconstruction of symbols, considering each element as the composition of different factors: material, form, function, graphic/color.

Each of these factors can be taken individually and then re-elaborated for the domestic environment.

The experimentation carried out so far tries to bring to light more examples of how to create this link between the two worlds, using all the characteristics of the urban environment.

In the two developing lamps (Siren and Construction Lamp) there is the appropriation of the aesthetic form but a material change, trying to elevate the form to a new perception using porcelain that also changes the way the light is diffused.

On the contrary, instead, the thermoplastic material for road strips is experimented for its technical characteristics mainly, but always taking into account the graphics that characterize it.

The pedestrian barriers are interpreted differently because the shape and the material often vary while maintaining a common aesthetic. With them, therefore, there is the possibility to create new forms that visually refer to the concept of barrier that is part of our mental conception.

Critically analyse complex issues found within the context relevant to your research, and effectively communicate your understanding.

Each individual is subject to a personal interpretation of the final products, as the conception of the urban environment and language is a mental model derived from his or her own experience. The design of the objects will therefore not be able to define in advance the interpretation that will be made by the user but, through studies on the mental interpretation of the symbols and by testing the products themselves, direct towards a new attribution of meaning/function of the symbol.

The mental model will therefore be influenced by numerous factors based on the use that the individual has of the public environment.

Since the actions taken into consideration are part of our subconscious, it is complicated to bring the user to an understanding of the transfer of a meaning if this is not already defined by his initial “starting point”.

During this second unit I arrived to understand that therefore my intention is to create objects that stimulate the “urban memory” of the user, and not to define how the object will be perceived. The concept is therefore to select the elements capable of evoking these sensations from which individual values or meanings will be given.

Demonstrate an active critical engagement with contemporary and/or historical contexts relevant to your practice.

The urban environment is the result of our progress and human inventions and continues to change over time. We must therefore be aware that the urban language taken into consideration belongs to the historical moment we are living.

Ugo La Pietra’s research is important not only for the theories he developed but also to study what elements he adopted from the Milanese street for purposes similar to mine. These elements were different from those that exist now but are still recognizable and traceable to the new forms that have taken their place.
The project therefore brings a development of La Pietra’s research as it examines the current elements that make up the urban environment and also extrapolated from a different city (London) from the one he referred to (Milan).

The intent therefore also becomes that of capturing the details that create the identity of a city even in the forms that are imposed on us by the society in which we live.

Demonstrate advanced understanding and application of the techniques and methodologies appropriate to your Project.

The practice of the project can be divided into two parts. On the one hand we have the experimentation of materials (such as thermoplastics) to which a rigor must be applied in exploring the different types of possible applications, considering the technical characteristics of the material itself.

On the other hand, there is the adoption of more traditional techniques such as porcelain working or bronze casting, where experimentation is limited to finding the best “formula” for the result to be achieved.

For example, in the research of the colours of Parian porcelain, the research is to find the ideal middle way between the intensity of the colour, translucency, thickness and firing temperature. While in bronze casting, starting from PLA, it was necessary to understand the degree of detail that could be pursued.

The methodology of the project has as its first impulse the observation of the surrounding environment that is broken down into several parts and from which different elements are extrapolated.

Each element must be reinterpreted according to its characteristics by evaluating the new context of destination and departure.

If I look back at the beginning of the project I have an immediate understanding of how I had already conceived this interest in urban language personally, but I could not explain the reasons to myself.
At the end of this second unit, I found answers to my questions and was able to fully understand the context of my research.

The practice has accompanied the theoretical research throughout and was the tool that allowed me to test the effectiveness of symbols, reproduced more or less faithfully by urban elements.

The development of the project in the next unit will, therefore, focus both on the final choice of urban elements to be reinterpreted in a domestic key, and on the fulfilment of the design techniques to be used for the final production.