What is Home today? Where does domestic space start and end? When do we feel at home?
Inspired by the seminal exhibition New Domestic Landscape hosted at MOMA which in the 70s sealed the relevance of “Italian design” in the world, we started looking for new and visionary ideas of dynamics, relationships, and interactions that design our everyday living spaces.
After an unprecedented period in human history in which 7 billion people have been forced to live their homes in a new and totalizing way, the time has come to redesign the views of the houses that are no longer just private spaces for the unfolding of the personal and family life, but workspaces, meeting places (for both real and virtual meetings), spaces of coexistence with a new idea of family and community.
The house is no longer a panorama (landscape) that we have in front of us, but a starting point for our contact with the world (escape).
The course of visual communication has been conceived and realized in three steps:
1. New Domestic Apertures
The first part of the course has consisted in reflecting on the forms of openings one can have in an enclosed space. Taking departure from the reading of the classical text “Journey around my room”, written by Xavier de Maistre in 1790, the students have engaged in a series of digressions to examine in particular the devices that, in a house, allow communication between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. The result has been a visual reinvention and translation – sometimes in the form of trompe-l'oeil– of devices such as windows, doors, mirrors, and screens.
2. New Domestic Atlas
The second assignment has consisted in the visualization of one’s domestic space, repeated pathway or practice, in the form of a catalog, of an atlas, or of a manual. The students have structured and visualized some observations of their daily life during the quarantine, from the relational dynamics of a family in a room, to the changes in social habits, such as making up or dressing up.
3. New Domestic Escape
The previous reflections have led and been re-elaborated in the main project, resuming in a more sophisticated and personal manner the idea of a new way of living the space – from the house to the landscape, passing through the village and the city. Even though many of the projects have used digital media, interaction, and artificial intelligence, the point of departure remains strictly analogical, based on observation of nature and telling stories. Some students have reflected on the changes in their perception of time; some on the new urban choreographies due to new rules about social distancing; some have written tales on utopian and dystopian scenarios.
The course has started out of an exploration of the space as lived by the students. Such exploration has comprised a reflection based on the surveying through mapping of students rooms and of the flows characterizing domestic spaces. It has continued by reflecting on processes of “domestication” of products and spaces, how they have been challenged and changed by the Covid crisis, and by speculating on future configurations of the domestic spaces also thanks to contributions by various guests.
Through such journey, students have elaborated various concepts and then developed various products for escapes from and within the home.