[This is a guest post by Andreia Barbosa*, about her work developed last year in the discipline Communication Project on ESAD, titled Oporto Homeless].
The homelessness theme is quite tense and controversial.
There are people in this condition all over the world, in every country and even on different cultures. It’s also a condition that can affect any of us at any moment of our life.
I believe that as a designer I have an important role in the society. I must use all the objects and images that I produce to spread my message, what I believe and also my worries.
I decided to work on this theme as an attempt to raise the society awareness for this problem. This problem is real, and it will still being there, even if we try to ignore it!
I made this work as a demonstration of cruel reality where those people lived in… the raw Oporto streets.
Oporto is a city with a new energy, which seems to have a new way of life, a new face. A city filled with a new felling, filled with art, culture and music… and also filled with beautiful people.
Even with all this contagious and positive movement, I do not believe that it’s possible to remain indifferent to those images… Seeing bodies dumped on the ground, wrapped as if they were garbage. Destroyed people that don’t have any place to go, subjugated to the condition for which they were thrown.
The truth is that this issue continues to be underestimated, and there is no strategy to try to understand what the exact proportion of the problem. I couldn’t find any official data about this issue, concerning the Oporto city. So, I had to find an alternative for the data research.
According to the definition of FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless ) homelessness is a process, rather than a static phenomenon, affects many vulnerable households at different points in their lives.
With this definition in mind I started by identifying and locating the organizations that are working with those groups, the homelessness meals and clothes delivery points, and also the homelessness night shelters.
With all the key points identified in the city map, I begun to do some kind of triangulation of the field, always using the city map. The higher concentration of small triangles means a higher concentration of homelessness.
Later, I jump for the third dimension, using irregular solids, like Tetrahedrons.
The result is a representation of an irregular town, which shares a utopian vision of purity and perfection, where there is no place for problems and for their “dust”.
The prototype was totally handmade and developed entirely on paper. Every solid was built individually and then assembled to the others. The construction of this object was really difficult and with a very slow production.
This is nothing more that a analogy to the hard work we’ll have to do if we want to effectively reach our utopia … a perfect city for everyone, full experienced by everyone…
*Andreia Barbosa is a Fashion Designer / Junior Graphic Designer based in Oporto, Portugal. You can follow her updates on Behance.