Challenging The Way We Live & Create

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Challenging The Way We Live and Create

Boano Prismontas



The project is a nomadic workshop designed for the afro-colombian people living in the Colombian Caribbean. They build their houses right on the sea shore and a huge number of dwellings are under threat cause of the rise of sea level. The workshop is called Quiubox and is meant to float and travel along the coast to promote the empowerment and the awareness of these communities through work. New houses can be built, new products manufactured and new income generated.


Illustration 1

The structure is built with cnc machined panels connected with dry joints. Quiubox is easy to assemble and the team would like to re build it in Colombia after Milan Design Week. This project will therefore have a second life after the exhibition.




How and to what extent did the context of Salone influence how you choose to market/reveal the proposal?

When Base Milano and Tortona Design Week contacted us to exhibit an installation about Nomadic Design, we immediately welcomed the opportunity to build Quiubox. As often happens, you have in mind a number of projects and ideas that fascinate you, and you just need the right occasion to make them happen. Quiubox fit perfectly the idea of Nomadic Design, being a Workshop that is meant to travel along the Caribbean Coast to activate a series of workshops and initiatives with the local population.

Milan Design Week is a great showcase, but most of the time installations demand lots of energy and work to be built and then, after 6 days, the show is over and everything is dismantled. Our intention with Quiubox was to subvert this logic and propose something that had a wider scope, something that could have a second life and a real-life application.




How did the previous work at the London design week influence the current project?

There is no formal or direct connection. There might be a path of correlation in the fact that these projects are both small scale installations and that they both use architecture to respond to existing problems. We believe it is our duty as architects to use our energy and our creativity to draw attention to things that don’t work or need improvement.


What defined the setting for the urban insertion, was their specific reason for Tortona area?

Quiubox has been chosen by Zona Tortona to host the area infopoint during the Salone Days. We welcomed this idea since it was really important for us to see our installation inhabited for the first time. It has been really interesting to see how people interacted with the lodge and the internal space. We managed to create that buffer zone that served the public realm, but at the same time made people curious enough to step inside and discover a cosy atmosphere.


What is the effect and purpose of the animated image?

When we work on a project we also like to play with it. When we tested if all door hinges worked correctly, we took the opportunity to play with the difference that the closed vs open position makes to the overall look and feel of the design. Animated image allows us to re-play these little experiments, and it is our way of making record of our work, it is not only to show it to the audience, but very much for ourselves too.


What defined the materiality of the intervention?

Choice of material derives from/and is directly related to the concept of our project. Quiubox’s is a structure that is manufactured and assembled quickly, without the use of nails, screws or glue.

There are at least two very practical reasons for it. One is that after the Milan Design Week the whole structure needed to be dismantled, loaded into a container and shipped to Cartagena, Colombia. The second reason is that with this project we want to empower disadvantaged people by introducing them to an advanced construction technique. We want to be able to take very basic piece of material, such as sheet of plywood, and transform it into something that would help improve these people’s lives: houses, furniture, fishing boats.


Illustration 2


Boano Prišmontas is a young London-based architectural firm, founded by Tomaso Boano and Jonas Prišmontas.

The practice focuses on small scale and self-built architecture that is both inspiring and functional. Boano Prišmontas’ approach towards design has been consistently oriented towards investigating and challenging the way we live and the way we create. Their projects draw inspiration from, and combine various aspects of art, architecture and technology.

Boano Prišmontas is actively aiming to evoke a sense of wonder within the public, and inspire them to engage with their surroundings, as well as to question and be more aware of their environment. With a research-driven approach, from graphical representation to construction details, they strive to investigate and challenge current day ideologies.




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