Where’s the Fun?!
Meds Reaction Lx
2013, Lisboa, Portugal
With: Rúben Teodoro, Ricardo Morais
Collaborators: Monika Reut, Viktoria Petkovic, Matina Kostiani, Nina Marcussen, Claudia Vasiliu, Petra Peetra, Ece Ozbek, Irene Marcantonatos, Ioana Breaz, Giannis Messas, Carole Garton.
MEDS Reaction Lx was an international workshop for architecture and design students that took place in Lisbon for two weeks in August 2013. Our project for the Caracol da Graça was one of the few selected and we consequently became the tutors of a ten-student team.
The Caracol’s chief characteristic is that it’s one of the main pedestrian ways to and from the Graça neighbourhood. It’s called ‘the snail’ because of its spiralling pathway of steps.
However, vandalism and its frequent use by drug users had turned it into a hellhole that the local community and tourists were often afraid to walk through.
Our objective was to give the steps back to the community and contribute to a safer, more vibrant space. Where is the Fun?! was based on this idea and it served as an introduction to the neighbourhood, its people and the other MEDS Reaction Lx projects.
This introduction to the neighbourhood and its residents was intended to be interactive. This was achieved with a display of digitally manipulated photos of community members, which triggered interaction among tourists and passers-by, as well as benches in resting spots along the way and trash bins to discourage the spread of litter.
At the same time these structures concealed part of the vandalism of which the Caracol was victim.
The project consisted of six different acts or interventions, each of which offered a different experience. The wooden structures were basically identical in all them.
Act 01 – Axonometric perspective of the stairs with the location of each act + QR Code linked to the MEDS Reaction Lx site which hosts information of all the other projects.
Act 01 – Laura, owner of Tasca do Jaime, was invited to walk down the steps.
Act 02 – A kid of the Graça community stencilled a sardine fishbone, that was a reference to the famous stencil that once existed in the Caracol criticizing the money invested in Expo 98. The background was filled with several old Portuguese advertising images.
Act 03 – An old man from Graça reading the newspaper, located next to a bench in a resting spot with a wooden structure to hold potted herbs. Dona Conceição, a kitchen help in the Cozinha Popular da Mouraria, took care of them and used them in the community kitchen.
Act 04 - Conceptual Tree in remembrance of the tree that once existed in the Caracol and was cut down when the new garden was created.
Act 06 - Senhor Baguinho is a cobbler and poet with a shop near the start of the Caracol of Graça and wrote this poem dedicated to Lisbon.
W009 – Play Lx
design by WAREHOUSE