Monday, December 10, 2007

West of the Moon, East of the Sun

Another crazy semester in ETSAM comes to its end. This year Miguel Beloqui recomneded me to meet him in the GEP, the Projectual Exploration Group led by Andrés Perea and with professors Paula Montoya, Izaskun Chinchilla and Jose Luis Vallejo. They were known to be a little special, making things no-one else does and stuff like that. So I thought It would be nice to give them a try.

This years topic was the performative architect vs representative architect and those were the schedules:

Four proposals [1week]
Three designs [3weeks]
Two prototipes [6weeks]
One project [4 weeks]


 Delivery note:
From the Utopic Archigram projects to the build reality in Beaubourg. 
There are realized projects, realizable projects and unrealizable projects. To what extent influence unfeasible projects in the creation of feasible ones? The experimental work is bases on creating utopic elements in a primarily visual way. Letting the imagination run. Proposing problems that then will be resolved and finding more problems in the road. 
Piano+Rogers center Pompidou as build work, Archigrams walking city as unbuild work, my own NNbrela project in India and the moon as a place o explore. 
The Pompidou emerges and leaves Paris. Culture is on the move. The Pompidou comes to your town. People can not believe what they see. When it leaves nothing is what it was.

Behind the board, we had to write a self critic of our own work, mine read like this:

You belive you are smartass and you don't seem to work hard, isn't it? We'll see.


So this was the starting point, classes where interesting but for some reason I started to feel I was loosing my time with all this crap. It was my fifth year in school and I already got bored of making things just for making things, without thinking beyond. So I decided that every time they ask me to do something, I would use something I did before. I didn't make the second delivery, I dust off my two favourite prototypes from the past and got them ready for the 3rd round. So here they were back in action:


Morgan had many structural problems so I decided to reinforce it with fibreglass sticks bought on a kite shop. I also made a beautiful diagram to analyze  it's skin. Take a look:

About Nobjects, I continued working with them. Just thinking on everything that could be generated. It was great having time to do so. And I became so excited about future possibilities that I decided to keep on developing them in the next final phase. Jose Luis was my main teacher and I was supposed to convince him so that my final project of the semester was to develope further the Nobjects. He was a little sceptical at the beginning, he told me why I didn't try something more serious. I told him if selling 2 million of them would start to make it a serious project. He understood, and let me go on. Vallejo is a visionary clever guy after all!


The final delivery day was upon us. GEP students are know for the amount of work they do, we were encouraged to work more everyday, everything was about producing more, first was producing and then was thinking. And everyday was like that. I got fed up. And, you know, I like to do just the contrary of what people does so I decided as I said before not to produce new things but to organize my past. I found out that my last years production volume was enough for that course, so I decided to organize all my past works and make dinA5 files as reference files of all my works and ideas. I bought an archiving green box and cut many papers with the exact fixed size. And if in the procces of re-making Morgan and Nobjects more  ideas grew and more files were generated, so much better. But organizing was the priority number one. Once organized many ideas re-emerged. So I end up making a poster with some of the best files for the final delivery.

I also made a thick folder that contained a Box imitating the classic Royal Leavening red box that contained all the dinA5 files I did. This is the time when I came up with aaandnn name. I was bored of making  stuff  just for class and I started thining on making a company. A Leavening company, a company that makes you grow. Sounded cool. Then I printed the drawings I thought were the best in DinA3 and compiled, making the three books that were supposed to be in the second phase I haven't done before.
After all the semester turn out to be incredible. I even had a mark of nine over ten and as I didn't have to work so much, I had time to think a lot.  I learned many things that I tried to summarize in the last memory of the course and during all this crazy days a still name-less comic superstar was born, let's see if anybody sees in the board above. 

Final delivery Memory:

I have planned the 2007-2008 GEP course from the very begining as an overlap of stuff. This overlap starts taking as starting elements things I have done in the past.
It is not about simulating situation in wich I have been before but re-utilizing useful elements in actual situations and projects. As the brief is not specific, and we are just encouraged to produce, and from my point of view if there is no a problem to solve, there is no a project that has to be made, I generate both the project and the problem. I am lucky to have many. here a list some: 
-Finding a comfortable enough working method in witch I can produce things.
-Finding a way in witch I can obtain money not in the far future and without having to die in the trying
-Finding a way to just pass the subject
-Finding a better way to organize me and my parents house that are moving next year.
-Finding the way of beeing free enough to pass some subjects of the past
On the other hand there are other things apart from finding problems like the things I would like to do to be happy. So I have choose to start with an storyboard project of a story about the Pompidu that leaves Paris. In an utopian way, I strted drawing unprejudiced ideas and drawings. Just having fun. While doing this I thought in this: 
One day you wake up, swich on the computer and you see a sunglasses design  competition in internet. You feel you want to do it, you want to work on it. You are so excited. And you have many ideas. But you can't. Because you have to produce a dossier for your boss. It is your priority. Period.
It would be so great if you were able to produce everytime whatever you want. If you feel you want to design a door knob, you design a door knoeb. The energy you put on making anything is bigger and the result are musch better when you do what you like in the moment you want.
Changeover, reboot.

I have planned the 2007-2008 GEP course this way. I am going to produce whatever I want and organize it in DinA5 files. I am not going to make bread but leavening. All kind of formal deliveries in witch bureaucratic dossiers must be done are avoided. Having in mind that those could be produced in the last weeks with the leavening produced in the months before. The aim of this is to explore this model and it's consecuences. Flux of elements are created that are organized and what's most important, stuff is not produced just to produce, it's done when I feel like.
I realized that things are not done for a purpose, things are done and then used for a certain purpose. I don't feel nothing must be hidden. The works and prototypes are presented as stuff done in previous years, that are rescued and rethought. It would probably be betterfor me, instead of showing them almost completed to show them as a process: I was able to fake the reality and lie saying that those where projects I was actually doing. Morgan for example. One day I could speak about the PVC I founded that I was folding it and playing with it. Next week one step more. And this way until the final one. Fake trials and errors. Fake investigation and analysis that seem coherent but with the end result present from the very beginning. As we are so used to see in school. 
This way, following the common way, I would be much better considered. Not just as if I took a thing from the past and reuse it. The academic results would be much better. However that would be a big lie.  The system is made so that only result matter. You can steal and lie if that is for better grades and people that follow this path are more likely to triumph. Then why I haven't do that? well...I've been reading Fight Club and I agree with the fact that self-improvement is masturbation and self-destruction may be the answer...this and also just to find a different working path. 
The Making of Morgan is as simple as having and idea and trying to develope it. Go find some PVC canvas and start working with it, using diferent folding methods. On one of the briefs we where encouraged to start working with whatever we had on hand, emphasizing on the fisical and real character of the proposals. But then three designs are supposed to be delivered. I don't get it. I think the course has been planned in a wrong way, the pyramidal scheme of 4-3-2-1 doesn't work. I belive this would be a much better way of working:

>>>Prototypes (wathever, real fisical elements)>>>Prototypes led to more refined designs and new ideas that lead to more designs >>>Organization of proposals>>>A final project is chosen to develop further>>>

This is a more natural and fun way. If you are working in a design that comes from an idea that then must become a prototype is something that not always gives good results. But creating real prototypes from scratch results on a bunch of great material to work with and from witch many new ideas, designs and proposals grow. 
In the old days buildings were not drawn before they were made. That was the begining. Making tangible things. We started with sculpture or making objects and tools, then we continued drawing, then comes music, photography and cinema, among others. Prefab tools to communicate and work that end up on the writing, the most abstract one, the most economic one. This is the end, writing some words and leaving.


We were supposed to produce: 4 proposals, 3 designs, 2 prototypes and 1 project.

So this is what I did:

Two prototypes: 
Morgan and Nobjects.  
Three designs (5)*: 
Walking Pompidou: an animation Project
Rolling House
*(Morgan and Nobjects) 
One Project
A business model based on Nobjects as a toy. A website to distribute it. A system capable to open children's mind and as Oteiza wished creating a new man based on a new children. What the Walking Pompidou animation project transmits in a utopian way here is presented in a real way. 

aa&nn  Leavening Company  is founded

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