The street: Cries and whispers in the public space

The public space

Before speaking about the object of my work as industrial designer, in this case centering on the urban furniture, I want to realize an analysis of the area in which the above mentioned object will become sense, this is, in the public space.

This public space, fundamentally urban, acquires today per today a worrying condition, especially in the big cities; it is in them where the essence of the public thing and for extension of the common thing and if we want to go beyond, of the democratic thing, simply, endangered; Before the threat of the invasive incontinence of the traffic rolled of private use, the speculative anxieties and ravenous of the real-estate sector or the simple disability of the administrations to define or foment a model of city, and going beyond, a model of housing, according to the new conditions and challenges, without repeating nineteenth-century formula and patterns of bourgeois city.

This the lamentable scene the one that the citizen, I repeat, fundamentally urban, finds to develop an offer of meeting, of leisure, of enjoyment beyond the private and intimate space of the domestic thing; It is this scene saturated of cacophonies orchestrated by the traffic, the consumerism, the hurry, the incoherence of the elements that should articulate the above mentioned space, as it are the street, the square(seat), the park, etc., etc., What takes the citizen to the weekend stampede and knocked down in search of the horizons virgins and not urbanized, still, that provides the sea to him, to looking for refuge in the big malls that provide an authentic leisure of greenhouse to us, a leisure time where from the lighting up to the temperature, passing  for the safety or the tours are totally guaranteed, or the dip in the historicist or geographical zapping or geographical that provide the theme parks to us.

From this situation, the conscious citizen, should begin to consider, and therefore to demanding, though in a rather ingenuous way, as he does with a worthy housing, a worthy public space, and in the same way as no worker is deprived of enjoying his free time, he have not also to be deprived of the right to the enjoyment of his free space.

Because we must realize that this public space, which definitively is used privately or at least individually, already is by means of the walk, of the reading, etc., it is turning into the area of socialization and of relation for big sectors of the population (old people, immigrants, young people, poor ...) that do of the street his living-room, and even greatly more, of being.

Urban elements

Established the physical frame and his current circumstances, it is when I go on to analyze our task, I speak in plural for consider me to be a member of a stud¡o, díez+díez diseño, at the moment of approaching the definition of an element of urban furniture.

The first determining factor that guides our work is to consider the urban furniture as an "imposed” product, since the final user does not have the possibility of choice and use of the same one, beyond the choice of a certain space (park, square, street) determined by his "furnished"; It does that in these works we add a supplementary dose of responsibility, opposite to other designs, for example the destined ones for the domestic area, where we count, do not be if in an ingenuous enough way, with the critical factor of the purchaser/user.

Overcome or, rather, assimilated this level of autoexigency, our aim, beyond the consideration of factors of comfort, maintenance, safety, etc, that give each other made, is to generate objects that do not add to this polyphonic cacophony about that I have spoken previously.

For it, and assuming that any object is a continent of messages, of both implicit and explicit connotations, of that somehow they us mean to us themselves in the choice or rejection, and use that of them we do, our intention is that our designs speak, say things, but in a very, very low voice, practically in a whisper, in such a way that the one who should want to listen to them should have to approach of a way premeditated to them.

Habitually when we project, we come using a concept that we have named transversality; for transversality, we understand this game of crossing, interferences, and short circuits between concepts from diverse fields as the art, the literature and that serve us to articulate this soul, this conceptual framework about which we develop later the process of formal definition of design.

A silent bench

I will focus my attention on the concrete case of the bank Godot; this one arose from the auto order of generating an element of urban furniture that could join in a completely coherent and natural way to the scenery of the known theatrical work "Waiting for Godot" the one that takes its name.

Basing on the description that the existentialist author Samuel Beckett does from the above mentioned scenery to the beginning of the first act: Road in the Field, with Tree, we began our project work; from the reading of the work and of the approximation to the figure and the thought of his creator, we were generating a series of line of thinking that little by little were opting by two possible lines of work; On one hand we find a possible route of performance in the bipolar relation, and pivoting about the centrality defined by the tree, between both prominent figures protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon, and for other one the one that was coming from the concept of wait; the vectorial merger of both conceptual lines, in turn resultant of the studding of others as duality, slowness, uprightness, node, silence, etc. generated something like what in the world of the shaped one is known as soul; said soul, realized generally in wire or metallic rod, acting as vertebral structure allows modeling in clay of models which structure would be impossible using only the above mentioned material.

This process of conceptual and nominalist decantation turns into an authentic tool, which helps us to reject automatically those formal formulations that in its confrontation with the above mentioned framework they do not find a connection or direct justification with that one; For saying it otherwise, they are the concepts those that select the forms to using in the formal definition of our designs, or definitively, that for us is previous and fundamental the idea to the form.

The synthesized description that I have just done of the process of creation of the bench Godot has a justification; I want to make see that we are not interested in doing patent, especially in the urban area, for the conditions of imposition about which I have spoken previously, the whole conceptual content that it encloses, We are not interested that our designs shout from the roof tops the ideological, philosophical or simply artistic connotations that they could contain.

We claim that our designs expire first of all the function for the one that they were created, and if later to this accomplished mission someone wants to see in them " something more " one has to take the trouble to approach, because our designs whisper, they whisper very quietly.

Catalyst of space and time

Godot is not born of the consideration of the bench as element that rules and modulates the reticulated itinerary what might be the eventful tour along the rural landscape in the style of Walser or of the urban area like the traditional flâneur already be in Hessel's anarchic slope or in methodical and analytical of Benjamin.

Godot arises from the consideration of every bench as generator of a spatial and landscape isolated centrality which it converts to every seat in what it might define as an installation ad hoc; with Godot we create spaces of quietude; to the Godot it does not come near, of the Godot it does not go away, in the Godot one is, one is.

The whole philosophy that has guided Godot's creation departs from the concept of the wait, but not from a fenced wait limited by one before or one later; it is a question of an interior wait, a state of suspension of the traffic and the daily dizziness.

It was the existence of this tree isolated ("Road in the field, with tree") the one that from the first moments, and reinforcing the nodose and not linear concept of the disposition of the bench that we wanted, began to draw Godot; The result is a simple prism divided in two pieces, perforated each of them in one of its ends for a semicircular hollow that they embrace, on having joined, to an element so atemporal since as it is the tree, symbol of permanency; We create definitively a slow bench, a bench that turns about the slow shade that day after day projects rhythmical around it; the idea of slowness meets reinforced by the choice of the concrete as material for its accomplishment and that in turn turns Godot into pedestal, in basement of what might be an installation of land-art where the protagonist is the tree.

We conceive the urban space as an area of chance meetings, of awaited appointments, of eventful thoughts found without searching; a space like viewing-point of past times and simultaneously daily, or of watchtower of dreams projected in the horizon; a place where to share loneliness or to explore playful discoveries; An environment with islands of quietude for the rest of the wayfarer or of the reader, another traveler definitively. We want squares where they find the newcomers and streets where those that already were they discover other worlds. For it we think that Godot is a slow bench, tied intimately to an element as timeless as it is the tree, to which shade we wait, there is not known well to whom or what, to others, to her, to him, to us themselves?

…the idea of slowness meets reinforced by the choice of the concrete as material for its accomplishment and that it turns Godot into a pedestal, into basement of what might be an installation of land-art where the protagonist is the tree, to which shade we wait, there is not known well to whom or what, to others, to her, to him, to us themselves?