"The Cube" exercise at 2014/15 Architectural Toys course

This year I introduced a new short exercise in my course at FAUP called "the cube". I noted a lack of skills in the students manipulating materials, raw and processed. Even if they know how buildings are made, they still never worked with wood, steel or other material different than cardboard or polystyrene (that they use for the models) and they can't understan how each materail can influence or be inspiring in the design processes.
So the idea was to create a cube with 20cm that should communicate something. Some kind of meaningful object, something between a piece of art (that improve our knowledge) and a device for some manufacturing experience. The unique rule was that the solid produced should be inscribed or circumscribed in a cube, in other words the cube must be "readable" into the solid.
For several student was a first contact with materials and technologies and they soon realized the importance of the details and, more than that, of the construction process.
The results was quite interesting because most students could not detach from architectural thinking. So they made several "building models" thinking in scale (big or small), gravity (there was an up and a down...), circulations (doors and windows). Nevertheless good proposals appeared and a lot of students produced some interesting cubes with different materials as steel wire, mirror, wax or concrete.
Here some examples, sorry for the horrible pictures... next year I'll take better, I promise.

Toy design course at Pilsen ArtCamp - July 2015

Also this year I'll lecture a toy design course at the Ladislav Sutnar´s Faculty of Design and Art from Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July.
Save the date because it will be a great opportunity to share experiences and knowledge about toys and toy design during an exciting week in the beautiful city of Pilsen in Czech Republic. Indeed a week at this school is such a unique experience in a very challenging and stimulant artistic framework surrounded by artists and craftsmen from all around the world specialized in several different arts and skills.

This year it will be a kind of "special edition" because Pilsen is European Capital of Culture 2015 (www.plzen2015.cz/en) with a great agenda and several different events articulated with the faculty's activities. So you can attend my course during the day and nigh-time enjoy a concert, a performance, an exhibition or a theatre play. Beyond that Pilsen, that is just one hour far from Prague, offers several restaurants and pubs where you can taste the famous beer and the local delicacies in a very friendly and pleasant summer atmosphere!

The number of participants is limited, so check the course condition here and make your registration as soon as possible.

You can find more information about the last experience at http://architoys.blogspot.pt/2014/08/pilsen-artcamp-2014.html or in the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/artcamp.summer.school