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Speculative Metaphorical Boxes

Design innovation operates beyond the material dimension and is deeply rooted in the symbolic and cognitive realm. By its very nature, the design act engages in a perpetual cycle of decoding, encoding and recoding, translating contextual elements into elements that undergo recombination, transmutation and reinterpretation within their context of origin.
Within this framework, Speculative Metaphorical Boxes emerge as experiential cases, functioning as containers of elements carefully extracted from a cultural environment. These boxes play a dual role: evoking, separating, bringing together and stitching together sensory, symbolic and cultural elements that constitute possible narrative contexts (in the case of a company, for example, the narrative contexts are linked to the brand identity), while nurturing new creative design processes. As a design and speculative tool, Metaphorical Boxes facilitate the decoding and recoding processes crucial for constructing the identity of a product and/or a space.
Metaphorical Boxes are shaped as boxes inside which objects, sounds, olfactory and tactile materials can be found; elements that have yet to be “discovered”, and only after their manipulation or transformation do they reveal their meaning. Operating on two levels, they first help intransitive relationships during design conversations focused on defining the “thing that does not exist”. Using heuristic and metaphorical procedures, metaphorical boxes produce translations of meaning and hybridisations between different realms of meaning. Secondly, these boxes become catalysts for interpreting design hypotheses, stimulating novelty through metaphorical stimulation. The metaphorical boxes function as advanced mood boards, embodying the symbolic and sensory outcome of a systematic collection of elements that prefigure a potential design narrative and the behaviours it encourages within a nuanced and fluid meta-design phase.


2019 — 2020