In December 2018, the first contemporary craft-experience-shop in Brazil, Espaço Colletivo - Casa Manual, opened at Morumbi Shopping, in São Paulo, with areas dedicated to shopping, food, workshops, seminars, play, concerts, work, and relaxation. The site design, by Galeazzo Design, is out of this world and brings a new concept for space-people interaction.
“Experience-environments are the future for architecture and design,” says designer Fabio Galeazzo, Masters’ in Creativity and Innovation by Universidade Fernando Pessoa, in Portugal, and creative director of the Galeazzo Design studio, who, in the last four years, has dedicated great time to researching people/environment interface.
Invited to bring Espaço Colletivo - Casa Manual to life, Galeazzo, the creative director of the studio called architect André Nucci and surface designer Dani Gautio, to act as co-creators. Together, they created a space of approximately 1800 m2 at the ground floor of Morumbi Shopping, with apparent structures showing imperfections on the walls, as well as the hydraulic, electric, and air-conditioning infrastructure. Furniture and structure mainly used wood, plywood, bamboo, and iron bars. Old walls were replaced by glass, bringing the movement and day-and-night lights into the site, and vice-versa. Remaining walls, with irregular surface and showing the marks of bricks and blocks, pastel-colors were used in contrast with hot colors. Little by little, these walls were filled with murals created by artists, which surprise mall clients, on a weekly basis. The idea is to have an ever-changing space.
Upon entering Espaço Colletivo, from inside the mall, the visitor is greeted by a bamboo wall, approximately 12 m long and 4 m high. There, the team of Casa Manual, focused on crafts and inspired by street markets, proposes new experiences, acquaintances, and knowledge-sharing, based on the handmade culture.
Over a spiraled shelf, ten overlapping wood and bamboo petals represent a dreamcatcher.
At this spiral shelf and dream catcher setting, craft products are available, from a selection curated by the Casa Manual team – from clothing to utilities, household items, toys, cosmetics, and much more. Surrounding this scenario, there are multiple-function areas, articulated between them and called “ocas do fazer” [creative huts] , which aim to emotionally connect the visitor to references in the outside.
At the learn hut, craftsmen daily present classes and workshops; at the nurture hut, there is a restaurant/café/emporium, area decorated with tiles on the ceiling and the walls, with designs inspired by traditional calico fabric, offering delicious vegan meals, as well as the sale of sauces and marmalade; at the sing and listen hut, a stage and stand are used for musical performances and seminars; at the play hut, there are toys developed by Erê group; at the leisure and relax hut, two large sculptures made out of fabric-covered wire, with hanging transparent lamps and plants that remind us of large trees, community desks, ottomans, swings, and chairs, are inviting to have light conversations or even small work meetings.
NOW, WHY HUTS?
After investigating primitive spiraled movements, the Galeazzo Design team was inspired by typical indigenous dances in Brazilian culture where, at the central square, the natives dance towards the center, creating a spiraled line. Huts (in Portuguese “ocas”, typical indigenous homes) were distributed around this center. Thus, like typical indigenous architecture, the space was though and created from the center outwards, where the large spiral shelf, built in plywood and held by over 700 bamboos, is floating, getting attention from all the enter the area and inviting each person to create its own story following interaction with the space.
This was one of the first projects where Fabio Galeazzo has applied his research developed during his Masters’ degree, on how environments may interact with their users, and how the users may adopt the environment as part of themselves and their creative process. This is the fund part: those who get there adopt the area for themselves, have an experience and feel as part of the space. Like a dance developing from the rhythm of each one.