Looking for the perfect platform to assist the projects by Frame Colectivo, the three conditions were mobility, multifunctionality, and memorability. The best available option, and the one we immediately fell in love with, was an old-time fire truck Mercedes 408 from 1975, which we now use as multifunctional and adaptable intervention platform. Not only does it facilitate the direct contact with the public, but it also works as mobile broadcasting system, easily adjustable to any project.
The 408 Platform, which traveled from Germany never able to surpass 50mph, renews itself according to the different projects we develop and the need to present it to a wide public. We create diverse structures within the fire truck, turning it into an ambulant diffusion station, easily adaptable to the places we intervene and to the various actions and performances that take place.
The truck assists the expansion, dissemination, and technical support for each project, having already adopted multiple functions, for example ice cream shop, mobile woodshop, stage, multimedia studio, among others. It works as important communication vehicle due to its mobility and capability of reaching large numbers of people, as well as because it became the image of the Pátio Ambulante project and is thus recognized as icon of the interventions.
A stage, a film set, a story, a character, or a path… For all this we only need a pallet and lots of imagination! Pallet Casting is a participative tool based on a semi structured script with premises that question the participants about their physical and emotional relation with the place they live in, producing varied material such as video, audio, dance, and short stories about the neighborhood.
In the beginning of 2015, the campaign Vai Rebentar consisted in distributing bags with Seedbomb to be spread around the city. Each bag also had the recipe and user instructions. Seedbombs are balls of earth with seeds, ready to be planted anywhere. The interventionist gesture of throwing a Seedbomb to embellish the city produces the beginning of the sensation of power to decide and to create change. A simple and minor surgery as consciousness raiser.
The first competition, CAPAFACA, emerged in the context of the project Para Lá do Muro. With the theme “Photographic record of Lisbon’s Health Park,” the contest intended to incorporate the park of the Júlio de Matos Hospital in the neighborhood of Alvalade, stimulating a closer connection to the community. The participants had the opportunity to enter a space unknown to them, exploring it in different ways and creating new perspectives and relations to the site.
These interactive and collection walks allow us to further our knowledge of the neighborhoods where we develop interventions. This empirical tool is fundamental to experience the neighborhood at a human level and be able to compare the projected spatial organization with the way it is actually lived by its inhabitants, gathering the positive and negative aspects. Understanding the existing issues is the starting point for the subsequent creation of proposals for public space and the collaboration with local groups and organizations, as well as for the communication about our work to the participants.
Translucid Stencil Tiles
One of the research themes in 2014 focused on the cultural heritage of traditional Portuguese tile-patterns. The project Translucid Stencil Tiles resulted from a knowledge exchange with Maria Caetano from “Lugar da Cerâmica.” She shared the methodology behind the creation of traditional tiles, which then resulted in a series of patterns cut in acrylic sheets at FABLAB Lisboa.
408 Ice-Cream Shop
The 408 Ice-Cream Shop, a small shop with homemade organic yogurt ice cream and toppings, is installed inside the old-time fire truck. This tool of self-sustainability also becomes our meeting point in patios and squares, functioning as a unifying element of the intervention spaces network.
This urban research tool helps us understand how the city is lived, seen, and inhabited by its citizens. It is a participative exercise that produces and questions maps, simultaneously allowing a close contact with the participants and their neighborhood.