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DAMn magazine


A new artist-in-residence for designers tries to put Brazil in tune with the world

Redesign means “design (something) again in a different way” and, with that in mind, the first brazilian artist-in-residence program exclusively for designers was recently created. The main goal of the project, held in Sao Paulo, is to support conceptual designers to show new ways to experience design on both ends: from the creator to the public perspective.

Like most residencies around, in the guest can explore his/ her practice on a new environment with new materials and meet new people. But the importance of an immersion like this in Brazil is that local designers and enthusiasts can actually feel part of something connected in real-time to the rest of the world. This project is a first step to help eliminating the geograpich and economical barries that isolate and delay brazilians from the international current production.

The selection of participants takes into account the designer’s compatibility with the local reality, focusing on people who under­stands about inventive forms of production that are not based solely on industrial support. So, for the first edition it was natural to invite the norwegian design-artist Magnus Pettersen, whose independent production is as brutal and intense as the modern architecture of Sao Paulo while, at the same time, is gathering a lot of attention worldwide through a collection of functional sculptures, created together with his partner, the danish designer Lea Hein.

Right the way Magnus was forced to a completely new environment: from a 0ºC and a 750.000 population of Copenhagen to Sao Paulo, with it’s 12 million inhabitants and a +30ºC of hard sun and heavy rains. But almost immediately, he adapted his sensibility and had also another surprise, understanding that the city is not just about the grey from all the concrete around and the endless horizon of buildings. It’s a chaotic place where the built and the nature fight an eternal battle - trees grow in improbable places and it’s roots tear the asphalt while colorful flowers paint the sidewalks.

Those images inspired him and the contrasts became inspiration: The sounds, the textures and colors… “Everything is contradictory, exaggerated and beautiful... You walk around and see industrial garbage bins filled with blocks of concrete next to another one with a tree in pieces”. All that experience influenced his work in such a way that the usual pastel tones became vibrant colors, geometrical blocks started supporting organic metalic forms and rocks founded in the streets were transformed into masks, almost like a Carnival allegory.

The mix between the concrete and the Pollock-inspired splashes of color also give to each piece a strange sense of lightness, once you don’t see anymore a massive block, but just the layers of colors and it’s combinations, creating a new dimension on the sculpture. Those vibrant compositions break the minimalist rigor of the geometric shapes and allow each work to be unique.  

If that period of two months in Brazil (january to march 2016) will affect his future work is something we’ll have to wait and see, but is already a great achievement for this young design-artist and the program on trying to shorten distances, spread new methodologies and create new collaborations.


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