Students from the Pirque Agroecological School Create Their Own Furniture to Learn Carpentry and Design with Nicolás Aracena
Fundación Mar Adentro invited chilean architect and carpenter to create workshops with students at the Fundación Origen trade school.
During two days of the first week of September, a group of 13 11th grade students from the Agroecological School of Pirque participated in this workshop, whose purpose was to provide them with carpentry technical knowledge and teach them to make design decisions.
Nicolás Aracena exposed part of his experience exemplifying work methods around the design and manufacture of furniture, as well as the creative process behind an original construction system, replicable to furniture of different sizes and uses.
Each participant managed to design and build their own furniture and experience how the construction shapes the design from the chosen material. They made a chair to learn the general design behind them and, at the same time, slowly begin to explore other ways of building furniture, leaving aside the more conventional look. Subsequently, the students went to a rubble area of the school and rescued woods and other materials that could be reused.
Afterwards, Aracena asked the participants to each think of three furniture ideas that might be missing in the school community and that were feasible to put together as a group. Each one drew their idea and then, among all, they identified the need for furniture. The group of students decided to make modular and multifunctional counters; four units that can be joined in different ways according to the requirements, for example: to rest during breaks, have lunch, go out with the whole course to talk, etc.
Additionally to this central table piece they also created a set of benches built with a mixture of new woods and collected old pieces. Thus, the students worked in groups with a common goal, but each member also made a unique piece. In this way, the individual creation worked independently, but also in conjunction with the other furniture built by their peers.
The students really enjoyed the experience, above all, being able to finish a specific product in just two days. Additionally, along with learning about design, they experimented with how diagonals deliver stability to furniture.
Nicolás Aracena (1984) has been working as an architect, carpenter and designer since 2017. He studied at the Universidad Católica of Santiago, Chile and also in Berlin. He has exhibited in various parts of Chile and abroad, such as Buenos Aires and New York, in the latter city he did so with his solo exhibition ATALAYA, in the Chamber Gallery. In addition, he has held various workshops and, soon, will be present with part of his work at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial.