SENSUAL WAVES: ONCE UPON A TIME
The Once Upon a Time vase collection was published on this issue, of one of the most renowed french architecture magazine, L´Architecture d´Aujourd´hui:
Fonte :L´Architecture d´Aujourd´hui Magazine, 396
By Guto Requena
July 05, 2013
I have always been curious to meet Lebanon. I love the culture, the food, and I love my lebanese friends. In March, I was invited by a friend to spend four intense days there, discovering the architecture and the design of this fascinating city.
The similarities between the Lebanese capital and São Paulo are many: they are both concrete jungles with endless traffic jams, with interesting scenes of urban arts such as electronic music and graffiti, and abandoned historic buildings (many with reminiscing marks of the civil war which lasted from 1975 to 1990).
Beirut has a rich architectural inheritance, with buildings of ottoman and french influence, but with traces of an internationally acclaimed modernism; that had its golden years from 1950 to 1960 – which after its independence became the capital of the cultural vanguard in the arabic world.
However, the city is now suffering real estate speculation, and one of the consequences of this is that many genuine buildings and historical parts of the city are being torn apart to make room for new enterprises of doubtful taste.
Another similarity between Beirut and São Paulo is the fact that the day to day lives remind us that these are cities at war. During my first night in Beirut, my hostess explained to me how to proceed in case there was a bombing, or shooting due to the renunciation of the prime minister that had caused the country to enter a state of alert. I responded by saying that our routine in São Paulo was not that different. I tried to explain about the robberies in restaurants and buildings in my neighborhood, also about the boys who are addicted to crack and end up sleeping on the front door of my building, the kidnappings of various friends of mine, and my dad’s homicide. Yes, these are citizens and cities living in fear and violence.
In my last night, on my way to a bunker party, listening to the sounds of prayers coming from the mosques along with the war trucks, I understood that our similarities with the lebanese bring us closer than I had imagined. We love our respective cities, we support each other in the incredible things they have to offer us, searching for stability among the chaos. For it is, after all, our home.
The Noize Chair was published on the last month´s edition of the italian design magazine Interni:
“From Guto Requena, the Noize Chair brings together the form of a Lina Bo Bardi´s giraffe with captured sounds from the streets. It´s undulation and distortion were transmitted to the surface through to the 3d printer.”
Fonte: Interni Magazine ed. 632
By Guto Requena
June 20, 2013
In Brasil, design is still associated to luxurious, expensive and merely decorative items, in an idea that “design is for rich people”. In my TV show, I have often asked the interviewees to define design. One of the best answers I got was from Gean Carlo Latorraca, architect and technical director of the “Museu da Casa Brasileira”: Design is the solution of problems. I believe good design is made in a creative and innovative fashion, to support activities (eating, working, sleeping, getting dressed) in a functional and beautiful way, considering the least possible environmental effect, promoting, wherever possible, the local culture and production. Last week I visited the “Design da Periferia” (Design of the slums) expo, in the Brazilian Cultures Pavilion, at Ibirapuera park. I felt very emotional when I left, and I felt certain it was one of the best design expos I had been up to then. The expo brings, in a ‘non-romantic’ way (for the foreigners to admire), products made by common people solely to solve every day problems, with few resources, and using recycled goods such as solid residues and trash.
Objects, photographies and videos show the fundamental principles of design -to solve problems in a functional, pretty and sustainable way-, far from the established, the status quo, as described by curator Adélia Borges.
Take a look below, at Guto´s interview with Adelia on another exhibit: “In Praise of Diversity”, hosted by the Droog Hotel, in Amsterdam.
She searched for years, in slums and suburbs throughout Brazil the contents of the expo. Colorful carts of coffee vendors and ice-cream machines from Bahia, wooden benches from Amapa, barbecue grills made from tyre rims in Alagoas, night club folders from the suburbs of São Paulo and the typography of Amazonian boats make up part of this inspiring collection.
Above all, the expo talks about “Brasilidade” (Brazilianity, in a non obvious way), behavior, identity, improvisation, honest design and, as Adélia says, “the creative knowledge of the brazilian people”. These objects made outside of the academic and professional environment reveal that design is, much more than a product, a way of thinking; and that it is, closer each day to everyones reach.
Spazio Rossana is one of the most amazing places in Milan and is an obligatory stop in the script Fuori Salone. This year, Guto Requena was invited to exhibit two of his projects: the chair Noize and the collection once upon a time. Guto was the third Brazilian invited to exhibit in the gallery. In previous years, Rossana Orlandi had selected furniture from Paulo Mendes da Rocha and the Campana brothers.
Check out in the link http://casa.abril.com.br watch the video and feel the vibe of luscious old factory ties and signed pieces by Guto.
Yesterday I returned home from my studio, as I do every day, and once again felt sorry for the Paulistas stuck in traffic. The end of Carnival, the return to school, the rain, auto sales tax cut to zero so more cars can fill our roads, and inadequate, low quality public transportation. The result is pure chaos: an angry, unhappy city held hostage by the daily commute. Everyone is stopped, honking with rage at their neighbors, isolated and alone in their cars. And the forecasts only get worse. I recently read in Época Magazine that every hour 92 new cars arrive on the streets of the capital. 2,000 Motor vehicles are licensed each day, and more than 800,000 every year.
Yesterday I arrived at home, as I do every day from work, but I was not angry. I came by bike, as I have every day for three years. By riding, I’ve come to see São Paulo in a new way. I’ve made peace with the city. I discovered along my bicycle route that, despite its size, São Paulo has many scales and can even look like a small town in the way we relate to the street. It all depends on how we experience this metropolis. During these three years on the bike I’ve paid more attention to the landscape, to architecture, to João’s auto repair and Dona Maria's newsstand and the Purple Ipês that will soon bloom again. As usual, I was paying attention to the changes and surprises of my daily journey, the small things that really make a difference in city life.
When I’m biking, I look in the eyes of people I encounter, I engage with my surroundings, I am more acutely aware of the problems in my neighborhood and am encouraged to participate in their solutions. Riding in São Paulo today, however, is an adventure. Rules and laws to organize cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles are lacking. So are boldness and courage on the part of government and the private sector to innovate and to consider the bicycle as a viable means of transportation. This is already happening in cities all over the world. We Paulistas will lack the initiative as long as we seem incapable of walking three blocks on foot.
Soon I’ll arrive at home, and with the certainty that it will take the same time it always has, just 20 minutes. I'll say hello to João, buy a magazine at the newsstand, get a kick from the local graffiti and perhaps, with luck, glimpse the first Purple Ipê flowers blossoming to life.