Design for community
Note of the publisher:
Assab One presents Design for Communities – Giacomo Moor for LiveinSlums, an NGO working in highly critical urban areas. The organisation has been carrying out valuable urban regeneration work for years, providing the children and youth in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, with the means necessary for their reintegration into school and work.
Giacomo Moor traveled to Mathare to make prototypes of the furniture for the dining hall and dormitory of the Why Not Academy, a local school that accommodates about 300 children. The making of benches, tables, and beds took place together with the Mathare children, giving them the opportunity to learn new techniques, get paid for their work, and at the same time create furniture of high formal and functional quality for a more conscious design.
A design logic based on “production simplification” was triggered through a formal synthesis in which everything superfluous or decorative is eliminated. The designed construction system ensures structural stability through sequential joints between the various components and can be applied to different types of furniture: table, bench, bed. The horizontal table tops have the function of a padlock and, screwed to the longitudinal chains, close a fully reversible dry system, giving the possibility of replacing individual pieces damaged by time or weathering. A manufacturing process that, without complex machinery, uses chisel, square and pencil as the only tools for the construction of the pieces, and thanks to the absence of visible nails and screws, becomes simple and immediate to make. Thus the theme of interlocking, usually and rightly associated with complex cabinetmaking techniques, is reinterpreted while retaining its preciousness for the making of simple furniture for community living.
Each of these furnishings is a symbol of an active and flexible community life, capable of supporting places for people to meet and exchange: the real engine of the Mathare slum. A community that will be told through an installation conceived by Davide Fabio Colaci with the works of the photographers Francesco Giusti, Filippo Romano, Alessandro Treves and Mattia Zoppellaro.
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