Date: September 22-26, 2014
Location: Medialab-Prado, Madrid (Spain).
Organizeb by: Medialab-Prado
Coordinated by: Makea Tu Vida – Alberto Flores, Mireia Juan and Luís García.
Participants: Paula Quereda, Pablo Pachón, Judith Burgos, Raquel Rodrigo, Marko Mastrocecco, Alejandrina Alfaro, David Rabaldán, Larry William, Ruth Viejo, Ester Medina, Marta Plasencia, Alba Paredes, Ana Lobo, Sara San Gregorio, Fernanda Ramos, Virginia Alonso, Riopark y Silvia Vaqueriza.
The Nomadic Furniture workshop took place September 22–26, 2014, in Madrid’s Medialab-Prado cultural centre. It was held in order to collectively design and construct furniture for Medialab Prado’s creator residency.
Taking inspiration from Austrian designer Victor Papanek’s reflections on furniture and the corresponding solutions he proposed in Nomadic Furniture 1 and 2, published in 1973 and 1974 respectively, we tried to convert this 3-room duplex residence into a communal space, a comfortable and inspiring home for residents who live there temporarily.
The workshop used raw materials left over from Medialab-Prado’s own facilities, materials from Rivas Vaciamadrid City Council maintenance centres and from Matadero Madrid’s municipal warehouse.
Workshop participants first defined how the residential space would be used. To do this, they assessed the basic needs of those living in this temporary housing unit as well as aspects of daily life that are less fundamental but could contribute to the domestic feeling of the spaces. Having done this, we organised the spaces and established basic furniture typologies that continued to be developed to outfit this residential space (surfaces and multipurpose elements for relaxation, storage structures, seats, lighting, etc.).
A collective consensus process was also used to define the basic principles for developing this nomadic furniture line:
- multifunctional furniture that meets the basic needs of the resident community
- creation of functional furniture prototypes using recycled materials
- easy to assemble and disassemble
- replicability and instruction manuals
- functionally diverse and adaptable to different uses/contexts
At the intersection of these needs/uses/principles, the furniture typologies and the raw materials available, a series of prototypes was collaboratively designed and constructed. Besides being multifunctional, these prototypes are objects that encourage an open dialogue about reuse, the value of consumer goods, the life cycle of objects, the exchange/transmission of knowledge and Open Design.
The workshop aimed at furnishing the three bedrooms and common area of the residence, and resulted in the following elements, the blueprints of which are published on the platform El-Recetario.net.:
- 3 Nomadic Units for Relaxation
- 3 ‘Restante’ shelves
- 3 chairs (La Nido, La Mideculos and Ramón)
- 3 beds (Rotonda, Camanek and Litera)
- 3 ‘Cuadrisco’ lamps
- 3 Metacurtains
- 1 ‘Fuego’ lamp
- 1 ‘Tracdamio’ bench
- James HENNESSEY, Victor J. PAPANEK. Nomadic Furniture. Pantheon Books, 1973.
- James HENNESSEY, Victor J. PAPANEK. Nomadic Furniture 2. Pantheon Books, 1974.
- Ken ISAAKS. How to Build Your Own Living Structures. Crown Books, 1974.
- Enzo MARI. Autoprogettazione?. Simon International, 1974.
- Hakim BEY. T.A.Z. Zona Temporalmente Autónoma, 1991.