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Dialogues Brazil-France: the practical knowledge and projective thinking of José Zanine Caldas

Grant number: 22/04798-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Industrial Design - Product Design
Principal Investigator:Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Grantee:Amanda Beatriz Palma de Carvalho
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research aims to investigate and understand the projective and inventive thinking of José Zanine Caldas (1919-2001). Brazilian, born in Bahia, self-taught designer-architect, whose work has become a reference in the use of wood, in the areas of design, architecture and their interrelations. With a vast production, Zanine made about 700 scale models for modern architects, designed and built approximately 500 houses, manufactured over 150 different pieces of furniture, lamps, sculptures and garden pots. In addition, he has lectured in important Brazilian and foreign universities. We will inquire about how and by which ways Zanine developed his design skills in the areas mentioned, without ever having received formal education in design or architecture. It's about analyzing the practical knowledge evidenced in his design an constructive experiences. For this, we will analyze Zanine's life trajectory in order to understand his formation; we will conduct a survey, with recorded interviews with professionals who worked and learned from him (such as carpenters, architects, designers, engineers, and their alumni); we will retrieve two and three-dimensional documents from libraries, architecture specific libraries, special collections, institutional archives and private collections; we will look for teaching material, handouts and videos made by Zanine.

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