António S. Gomes barbara says… Projecto Próprio Lisbon Portugal – I Used to Be a Design Student

LISBON, PORTUGAL

António Silveira Gomes (barbara says… Projecto Próprio)

PROFESSIONAL YEARS

15

A VALUABLE QUALITY FOR A DESIGN STUDENT + A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL

To approach any exercise with a serious attitude even in the simulated scenarios that are common in design schools + To be able to listen even if you feel you know what a client is about to say

FAVOURITE FOOD NOW

Spaghetti alle vongole

YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION NOW

My young daughter

YEAR OF PROJECT

2010

PROFESSIONAL PROJECT BRIEF

To design a book, map, website and signage for a street performance festival that took place within a Gypsy family commune

CLIENT

Marco Martins (film director and scenographer)

COLLABORATOR(S)

Claudia Castelo (art direction and production) Alexandre Castro (web and graphic design), Patrícia Maya (graphic design), Maiadouro (printing)

TITLE OF PROJECT

Baralha

TECHNOLOGY

2 iMacs, laser printer, desktop publishing software: CS3, Fontographer, Google Earth

TIME SPENT

3 months

TYPEFACE

Gentium + 2 custom fonts (Cristiana, Deus Viveaqi), hand-lettering sampled from the walls of the Gypsy dwellings

WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?

The fact that the book embodied a powerful visual statement for the identity of this particular Gypsy family: their need for territorial autonomy as a sedentary group, going against their natural nomadic heritage. We as Europeans become more nomadic as the Gypsy community becomes sedentary. We designed a tree showing the 70 family members and shaped it to resemble the official flag of this ethnic Gypsy group.

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?

A few insignificant technical details in the binding and layout.

OUTCOMES

The performance comprised a series of documentary videos and live shows with actors, musicians and choreographers. These were made within the gypsy dwellings and in the surrounding woods. Some were the result of workshops with the community and others were interviews. I visited the camp before our work on the book started and quickly realized that the context wasn’t about performance but about understanding and interacting with an incredibly autonomous culture. The project opened my mind towards the complex issues regarding Gypsy integration in Portugal, to their semantic and cultural codes (the Portuguese word for ‘gypsy’ is quite demeaning) and their social organization as a tribe.

FEEDBACK

Most responses were positive. 

DO YOU TEACH?

Currently guest lecturer at the Universidade de Coimbra – Faculty of Computer Sciences (Portugal). Lecturing Design III (studio practice).

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TEACH DESIGN?

Yes. I am a teacher. As a design student, I learned how to appreciate design thinking as an autonomous discipline, to defend my work reason ably and respectfully, accepting an honest critique from my tutors, distinguishing between good and bad ideas, working on developing an idea through creative specu lation, working and sharing ideas collaboratively. I also mastered drawing (even though I don’t practise it much). Apart from this, a copious amount of theory solidified my understanding of philosophy and history. Nevertheless, I still feel I should have learned more practical skills in school.