A banner on the fence to the park. It has all been fenced and has guards on the gates, something that is sensible for the darker hours.

There are many ways to motivate design students but the most effective motivation to work hard is real projects. We have been so fortunate to be asked to participate in the rebuilding of the new Parque dos Continuadores in the center of Maputo. I remember this area two years ago as a no-go area, really just a disregarded grass area with lots of rubbish. But now it has been properly rebuilt and a rainbow of crafts and objects stalls have been set up. I am not here reflecting about the quality of the things that are for sale, but in between there are quite proper objects. But our school has to address the development of artisan things that can be developed in the country. Tourists come in small buses or just individually to wander around, see the offers that are abundant and to sit in the two restaurants that have been set up. Both the restaurants can be recommended, one sells local Mozambican cuisine and the other is Italian or pertains to be. The location is an excellent location to gain introduction to variety of Maputo culture in one location. It even has a wifi field for those that have to be connected.

The pond in the park with view to the restaurants. Idillic spaces.

The organization of the park is led by an architect Ruy M. Santos, a very capable organizer that we met on the first formal visit of the students to the park. He gave a presentation of needs and potentials. He also told about how they have built up the park very much based on sponsorships in addition to official funds. The design students in ISArC have been asked to work with the benches in the park, simple concrete slabs that can easily work as a platform for creative solutions or elaborations. This is what we have been doing for two weeks now, meeting in the park, doing physical surveys discussing needs and potentials. It is great to work as a designer with actual projects and in situ. We have of course been through strange silly idea processes and serious elaborations.

We are coming to presentation phase when the students have to make presentable proposals in a form that Ruy can use to take to potential sponsors for financing the ideas.

Here is a photo album from our work.

A simple concrete bench that the students are asked to elaborate. One never knows what will come out.

April 29, 2011  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: AFRICA, ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, ISAC - KHiO, MOZAMBIQUE