Mismatches

How can mismatches trigger personal connections to a site with awareness of universal relevance?

The complexity of a UNESCO site can be admired through mismatches in its visual details, history and artistic styles. These mismatches result from overlays of cultural influences, personal interests and needs, or periods of time. How can those mismatches trigger personal connections to a site with awareness of universal relevance? This poster focuses on the Convento de Cristo in Tomar. The visual details picked on the site are linked in a linear composition to underline their belonging to the same site. Their cultural/temporal differences are highlighted by small captions referring to a map drawn on the back of the poster. The design fades away to invite the visitor to continue searching for other details that he discovers in the site, and maybe draw his own. This way, the latter is invited to understand that the site is not only relevant for Portuguese heritage but also for his own.

The design process started on the field research, visiting the sites and taking pictures and notes about everything that caught my attention. Here are a few pictures that inspired my artefact, from Convento de Cristo in Tomar:

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Then, after analyzing what caught my attention, I realized, with the help of our mentors, that I was attracted by the mismatches (in time, style, etc.) and details present in the monuments. I decided to work in this direction to create my souvenir. The result is a poster interweaving the mismatches found in Convento de Cristo, painted in this typical blue found in many ceramics in Portugal (here painted with watercolors and ink) that the public is invited to continue.

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This work has been realized in the frame of my Master's studies at the Zürich University of the Arts. We went to Portugal for 10 days in order to attend a workshop to design souvenirs representing diverse UNESCO sites such as Convent of Christ in Tomar, Monastery of Batalha, Coimbra and Alcobaça Monastery.