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MaDe Participant
Name

Victoria Rodriguez Schon

Material
Simbol - Symbol
Nationality
Argentinian
Classification
Vegetable
Workshop
Milan
Category
Industry
Profile

Studied Industrial design in Buenos Aires, Argentina and worked in various sectors of the industry for three years before starting a Master’s studies in Politecnico di Milano for Integrated Product Design. Product design has always been my passion, I have been experiencing with various materials and techniques back in Argentina, working with glass, contemporary jewelry and metal working.

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Project Information
Material Qualities
Color: Transparent/dried grass
Soft / hard: Flexible
Shiny / matt: Matt
Smells: Hint of vinegar
Texture: Grass fibres
Material Recipe
1. Dispose grass horizontally and fix to clean surface covered in baking
paper. Here is where it is possible to play with the 3d shape of the mold.
2. Mix together until boiling point:
250 ml water
7.5 g agar-agar
5 ml glycerol
15 g sugar
3.6 vinager
3. Leave to air dry for a couple of days, shrinkage will occur forming a
warped surface, take advantage of this with use of mold when pouring
the mixture.
Material Application
- Hand crafted souvenirs, as today's Simbol use
- Another kind of "traditional basket making"
- House wear/decoration
- Dry container, since it is not waterproof
- Accesories or contemporary jewellery
Material Narrative
Simbol is a plant commonly found in the northern part of Argentina. This is the main resource for traditional basket making, which is the main activity of many communities in the area, depending on it for their economic dependance. This technique is an ancient practice, it comes from the indigenous tribes that inhabited the area, using the resources in the ground for their tools and possesions. This is still practiced now a day, the products designed by these communities are commonly sold all across the country, but they have a special place in this area. Due to climate change, heavy colds and long drought periods are making it hard for the Simbol grass to grow naturally, making it harder for these communities to work with it. My idea was to explore possibilites to use the dry grass, which is what is mainly found now-a-days in the area to replace or add value to their hand crafts. Redefining dry grass' use and giving a new opportunity and look to this ancient technique, giving an socio-economic and cultural take.
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MaDe, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe partnering with design and cultural institutions, Elisava, Ma-tt-er and Politecnico di Milano. If you are living in Italy, the UK or Spain please apply to the MaDe workshops in the relevant cities.

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