Here is another article dedicated to the speeches delivered in the Lectio Pluralis of Art at the Centre 2017, focusing on design. After showcasing StudioSuperfluo in the previous article, we will present the testimony of Subhash Mukerjee. Subhash is an internationally educated Indo-Italian architect and university professor who, through teaching, researching and working, has interwoven extremely diverse human and social experiences. The projects he works on see space as a dimension of dialogue with the others, but also with oneself.
Valeria Cantoni, moderator of the Lection, invited the guest to reflect on how to develop an interior design project starting from an idea of innerness.
“To clarify the issue – says the architect – I must make an introduction. After 20 years of practices as assignments, teaching, researches and international travels, I thought about my profession, and how my experience had radically affected my way of designing. I understood how complex the issue of one’s own method and line of work is. Dogma or contingency, authorialism or technique? I believe that we often neglect to consider our inner processes. So far, my career has always been linked with the outside. To be able to define what we do, it is important not to let only the outside affect us, but to look at ourselves too.”
After this premise, the professor explains his project: “My reflections led me to launch Forms of Life: an attempt, in the form of a workshop for my students, to identify a mission. A sort of individual innovation design, aimed at treating oneself and one’s approach to work as a project. To realize this, it is essential to ask oneself things like: ‘What designer do I want to be? How can I become that?’. As for the design process of Forms of Life – he says – I ask the students to write a diary of their live (from birth to about 23), drawing a star diagram for each year, showing the values that have distinguished them, thus highlighting the interests and the values of their existence.
They get 23 diagrams – he continues – which they then arrange along a timeline showing on the x-axis the 23 years and on the y-axis their main characteristics, i.e. a factor they consider fundamental, e.g. happiness. The realizations become sections of a space created interpolating the sections along the timeline through three-dimensionally modelling: the result is the shape of their life and the context of their interior design project. This way, I get students to work on an aspect usually not considered in universities. The process shows a past development, but, once it gets “visualized”, they can deal with their future.”