The question of transparency is central to contemporary societies. Phenomena of ecological and social impacts only reach arenas of public debate when they are ‘rendered visible’ in terms of data, tracking and information. Whereas modern architecture built its discourse upon the paradigm of visual or phenomenal transparency, contemporary interior architecture envisions the discipline as a web of social, material and media associations.
PRODUCTION LINE explores how individual buildings are part of this larger web, and how interior architecture operates at the intersection of physical and social constructs. By re-imagining a term associated with the centrality of products in the assembly line during the 19th century, our vision is to put people and their associated ecologies, both global and local, animal and vegetal, natural and artificial, at the center of the architectural discourse.
In a unique collaboration between the departments of space and fashion design at HEAD-Genève, this project examines the shared gloomy side of fashion and interior architecture as two of the most polluting industries in terms of ecological and social impact. It does so by re-imagining a new identity for Caritas, one of the biggest social actors in the city of Geneva, as both space and institution, moving from recycling to upcycling. Arriving in Geneva in 1901 when the concepts of space and fashion design did not concern social and ecological issues, Caritas created economical and moral values through an economic model based on the reinsertion of not-any-more-fashionable goods and materials into the selling cycle. This, however, has been challenged by the growing low-cost consumer products of Primark, Ikea, Zara, and the like. Investigating the technologies, networks, and forms of social design through the Caritas case, students learn to reduce global warming or working precariat through interior architecture, a trade in which the ecological and social impact of every technical and material choice is never neutral
Blanca Algarra Sánchez
Camila González Tapia
Image Credits © Students