Encode organized a series of design seminars during the holy month of Ramadan titled ‘ATAYEF' every Tuesday and Wednesday. Atayef does not only refers do the traditional light dessert commonly served during Ramadan but also it’s the title of a well-known book by Jamal Badawi (Egyptian historian and journalist 1934-2007). His book was published in Ramadan 1992 highlighting glances of Islamic history in a light and easy to digest a series of short articles.
Encode simulated this approach to open discussions regarding design without a closed theme or predefined criteria, unless the topic should be light and easy to digest. Encode team introduced three seminars on fabrication, patterns, and mathematics. The topics introduced by Encode team were the result of year-long research in computational design and digital fabrication and they also invited the design community in Alexandria to share and submit three topics' briefs. The event resulted in a fruitful discussion between the designers’ community. Here is a look back in time at the seminars' topics discussed:
// First Seminar_ "On Prefabrication And The Work of Jean Prouve" // Tuesday, July 31 // 9:00pm > 10:30pm
"Never design anything that cannot be made" Jean Prouve (1901-1984)
With all the excitement surrounding today’s digital manufacturing technologies, it is interesting to look at an earlier historical moment of workshop mass-production, as practiced by the great French architect and designer Jean Prouve.
This presentation highlighted Prouve's passion for mobility and nomadic design through his contributions in prefab systems in the ’60s on different scales from chairs to buildings. All scales have to be simple to fabricate, easy to pack, light to transport, easy to construct and dismantle.
It also showed glimpses of Jean Prouve's works. For example, the pre-fab house "La Maison des Jours Meilleurs" in Paris - 1956, vacation mobile house, a series of pre-fab houses transported from France to Congo - 1961.
// Second Seminar_ "On The Power of Patterns as A Design System" // Wednesday, August 1 s// 9:00pm > 10:30pm
“Understanding order begins with understanding patterns". - R. Buckminster Fuller, American engineer, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, futurist and second president of Mensa International (1895-1983)
Patterns have always been a distinctive part of our daily life products, whether it is ornamental or functional, it often embeds cultural and historical values. The presentation demonstrates the shift from the historical concept of a pattern as just a matter of decoration to pattern recognition and articulation. It also accentuates on realizing the significance and possibilities of pattern-making in design embracing present new mathematical tools that aided architects to realize different patterns, stimulating the viewer's eye to reveal the hidden order of the patterns and its shadows.
// Third Seminar_ " Mathematics as tools for Regulation and/or Invention" // Tuesday, August 7 // 9:00pm > 10:30pm
"The mathematical phenomenon always develops out of simple arithmetic, so useful in everyday life, out of numbers, those weapons of the gods: the gods are there, behind the wall, at play with numbers.” Le Corbusier
Architecture is connected with a particular branch of mathematics: Geometry; which is the most visual manifestation of mathematics. This is most apparent since ancient temples, Renaissance churches, Islamic structures till the contemporary digital surfaces. Nowadays, thanks to the computational tools, we have the chance not only to reconnect architecture with non-Euclidean geometries but also to recognize and use the other branches of mathematics, such as calculus and algorithms.
// Forth Seminar_"On Tangible/Intangible: Locating Memory in Public Space" by Dr. Mohamed Adel // Tuesday, August 14 // 9:00pm > 10:30pm
Public statues, fountains, funerary monuments, and war memorials, all are structures built to preserve memory in a physical medium. While the built environment as a whole is always in a continuous process of change, such commemorative structures are built to create fixed points within this environment, stabilize both the physical and the cognitive urban landscape. How did architects and artists approach this notion in Egypt and worldwide? Did they succeed in delivering their messages?
// Fifth Seminar_"On Jewellery & On Jewellery Tales " by Eman Elbanna // Wednesday, August 15 // 9:00pm > 10:30pm
Every piece of jewelry has a story behind, this story is not necessarily a historical or “a charming “one but it can be an idea we believe in or a craftsman journey to realize this piece of beauty we will present briefly how jewelry is made and will discuss what may be behind a piece of jewelry.