Project Lead: Francesca Romana Forlini

Number of participants: 15

Duration: 5 days

Project Outline:
It may be likely that in 2049 we will live alone, entertaining conversation with a digital partner identified with our smart home as shown in the latest Blade Runner movie, but today’s situation seems to predict different scenarios; about half of European millennials still live with their parents or decorate their first home with family heirlooms and inherited furniture. If it is not material culture that reminds us of our identity and origins, so are the involuntary gestures and habits that we have learned as children. Our tastes are influenced by our cultural capital and all this inform our actions, daily choices, way of living and even the process of appropriation of the interior spaces of our homes, oftentimes built decades ago. So instead of space travel, we are trapped inside time capsules.

These processes have not only social but also spatial implications, as the series of everyday practices associated to inherited objects and habits influences the ways in which spaces are used, appropriated or modified. A clear example is the domestic dining table, its location in the space of the home and the ritual of sharing meals are both spatially relevant and culturally specific.

The class, which has a taught component, will draw on different theories and disciplines such as cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, art, photography, architecture and interior design. It will focus on accumulation, processes of appropriation, display, the meaning and values of material culture and cultural practices. These dynamics will be explored using different medias and students will be able to either develop personal projects or work in small teams. The unit will ultimately produce a ‘time capsule of today’s interior experiences’ where each element of material culture or immaterial habit tells a story about individual or collective experiences. The outcome of this project will be a small exhibition along with a printed booklet, where student’s ideas and theoretical contribution will be illustrated. Guests lecturers and workshop assistants will help developing the unit’s work.


Day 1: Monday 4th November: LEARNING
Introduction to the Project’s topic, scope and methods. Lecture followed by a presentation and discussion on selected readings.

Day 2: Tuesday 5th November : THINKING
Workshop day: development of individual or small group’s research project and visualisation strategies.
Design draft of final exhibition and booklet.

Day 3: Wednesday 6th November: EXPLORING
Students will be free to develop their work. No meeting scheduled.

Day 4: Thursday 7th November: DESIGNING
Review of individual and group projects, final design of exhibition and booklet.

DAY 5: Friday 8th November: EXHIBITING
Preparation of the exhibition.