EMBRACING THE LIGHT
And on we go with the What Design Can Do blogs. Today’s topic is all about social interaction through digital technology and urban spaces.
Brazilian born Guto Requena studied architecture with a master’s degree in Urban Planning at the USP University of São Paulo. With the skills he developed as a researcher on interactive studies, he started his own design studio: Estudio Guto Requena. His interest in social interaction and hybrid realities combined with the love for his home country, enabled him to put his vision on experience design to practice. These are some of his most inspiring works.
What if architecture could he hacked? That was the main question on Guto’s mind when starting out his ‘Light Creature’ project. As part of a research project for the Hotel WZ Jardins in São Paulo, Guto’s studio created a new interactive facade. This innovative exterior explores how to bring positive change to cities and their public spaces by encouraging changes in real-time. During the day, the building is covered by metal panels in either gold, blue, light blue or grey, of which each color represents the level of sound surrounding the panel at the time of construction. Gold for high volume, blue for medium volume, etc.
At night, a ‘luminous creature’ comes to life, which reacts to real-time stimuli. Sensors on the building collect sounds that determine the shape and movement of the creature. By using an app, people can even interact and play with lights by using their voice and finger taps. At the same time, other sensors measure the air quality of which the results are reflected in the color of the lights, encouraging the people of São Paulo to think about their personal impact on the environment.
Can You Tell Me a Secret?
In this next project, Guto created a temporary art furniture installation, with the goal of bringing people from different migration backgrounds together. The installation consists of five wooden benches and an old-school telephone booth, which says “Can You Tell Me a Secret?”. It invites people to share a story, which will be recorded and afterwards played trough speakers inside the surrounding furniture. All with the intention to create a social bond between neighbors and facilitate a meeting place in the neighborhood. Fun fact: the colors of the installation represent the flag colors of the immigrants’ countries of origin.
In all of Guto’s work, there is a strong emphasis on the experience. His work is created with the intention to make you cry, crawl your toes or dance you ass off. Either way, you have to feel it in your entire body. Social and environmental impact is also a big aspect in Guto’s work, as he believes that now is the moment to use all technology at our disposal to build a better society. His work can be linked to multiple trends, such as Holistically Happy, in which we strive towards a more sustainable future. But also Inline, where our on– and offline world gets merged into one.
Aside from the projects we touched on, Guto created many more inspiring projects, installations and everything in between. Make sure to check them out and stay tuned for more What Design Can Do related goodness!