'Upcycling', first project on group from Degree at design

1st year students of design Ana Elisa Loynaz, Maria de los Ángeles Ventura, Ciria Aguayo and Mariana León-Pantin with their project 'Interlock'.

Throughout the degree program, most of the projects are at group. This is the first one in which they learn to merge the different personal creative processes. A group student tells us about her experience.

In their first year, Degree students at design enter a world of exploration and knowledge. "By being here, you are already designers." These are the first words that Professor Javier Antón says to the students. During their first semester, they delve into the process of 'design thinking' through individual projects. In the second semester, they begin to collaborate among students and carry out their first project in pairs. The second, which will be explained below, is the first in which they work in group.

Ciria Aguayo and Ana Elisa Loynaz in the process of assembling the exhibition of their project a few days before the final submission

Students Ana Elisa Loynaz, María de los Ángeles Ventura, Ciria Aguayo and Mariana León-Pantin presented their project 'Interlock'. This was born from used hangers and, ultimately written request, they used the nature of the material (low carbon steel) instead of the original shape of the hanger. The process of creating the interlocking system is based on unfolding the hangers into a straight wire and folding the extracted material in a certain way, seeking to create a base piece.

For the students, project at group was a challenge: "We had to get the ideas of the four of them to merge and work together to create a system," says Ana Elisa-Loynaz.

Ciria Aguayo explaining the versatility of 'Interlock' in the 'jury'.

In this first experience of project at group, the dynamics were new. Student Ciria Aguayo comments: "Over time, we learned to organize ourselves in group and to work on the basis of each one's strengths".

"In terms of harmony, our roles complemented each other and helped us grow personally every time we had to face an obstacle," says María de los Ángeles Ventura.

About project 'Upcycling'

At project 'Upcycling' the students have to design a joint. A joint is a system of joints, in this case they have to start from existing discarded materials. The goal is to start with experimentation and then develop a system in a controlled way. It is a challenge, since it can be more difficult to design a system than a single object, but thanks to constant iteration, once they manage to create an intelligent one, the possibilities of use are endless. This exercise was devised by Jorge Penades, the previous guest designer, who proposed to work designing these joint systems.

This year's guest was Sina Sohrab, an Iranian designer with internship based in Madrid. Student Mariana León-Pantin says that he guided them "from an industrial perspective along the project". Sohrab's work involves cultural and behavioral narrative perspectives, the traces left by time and adaptation, as a means to define future ways of living. He studied the degree program of design at the prestigious RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and co-founded Visibility, an industrial design office based in New York. Today his enquiry is reflected through furniture and product designs, exhibitions and research projects.

To see the students' process from the first critiques to the final 'jury' and result , you can check out our Flickr gallery:

1st GD Upcycling x Sina Sorah 2023

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