For the second year in a row, Core77 is partnering with WantedDesign to present the fourth annual, on-site Design Schools Workshop. Over the course of four days, students from Centro Design School from Mexico City, Art Center College for Design, Pasadena, and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) will be working in collaboration to tackle the topic of product lifecycle in every day objects under the theme, Design Forever.
With over 1.3 billion tons of waste generated per year, expected to rise to 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025, the issue of waste is becoming more urgent. Led by the Centro Design School from Mexico City, students participating in this year's design school workshop will work to transform an every day object into a product that lasts. Core77 spoke with Sébastian Ocampo, Director of Centro's Product Design department and Cecilia León de la Barra, designer, curator and instructor at Centro, about collaboration, blue sky thinking and leaving your comfort zone.
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Core77: What impresses you most about what comes out of these workshops?
First the quality of the experience regardless of the results. Students from different parts of the world share their cultural backgrounds and specific ways of developing a project. In terms of results, there are very strong conceptual proposals—solid and feasible. So it's not only about "blue sky thinking." The collaboration, organic form of working and the different ways of thinking create new, amazing, interesting and innovative ideas. The surprise is in the outcome, nothing comes out as expected.
Where did this year's theme, Design Forever, come from?
Maybe the starting point was a broken coffee machine…the glass container broke and it was impossible to find that separate part so I had to buy a new one.
Also, it's a general issue that worries us and brings along an enormous amount of questions. The theme requires us to look beyond our individual time/conscience and think about the world we want to leave for future generations. So how can we as designers participate, understand, communicate and contribute in making a difference regarding waste and the problem that this represents for all of us.
What are your expectations/hopes for the workshop this year?
To develop pertinent scenarios related to the theme and have a variety of topics. I hope we create a space for discussion and sharing different points of view. We will search to pinpoint the specific aspects that determine the life expectancy of a specific product. Match process to desired results and provoke different minds to come together and think about new ideas. To leave a seed of awareness and to share with the public, we hope, options of how to address this subject. Regardless of the tangible result we expect this workshop to be a pivot for the design community.
What do you think is the most valuable take away for students who participate?
Working with students from different countries and schools. Having the feedback from the teachers and jury, and collaborating with others. Sometimes design seems to be one person working in the void and here students have the opportunity to understand that we have to work together—that this will always be much richer than doing things alone.
Additionally, leaving their comfort zone and working with new people should also create new aspects in their proposals.
Why should design enthusiasts observe the students at work and the final project presentations/critiques?
It's an invitation to question oneself about how we do things and if they can be done better or differently. The design community will also have the opportunity to listen to the feedback from prominent members of the jury. To learn how young designers approach issues that should concern us all and share with them the highlights of the workshop.
WantedDesign's Design Schools Workshop will take place at WantedDesign Brooklyn, 274 36th Street, in Sunset Park, May 14-18.