• Paolo Camerin

Expressing "saudade"

What does it mean to miss someone or something? What does it mean to miss it so much that there is no rest for your memory?

This is what I tried to explore with this small exercise. Building from nothing the representation of an emotion, the representation of "saudade".

“A vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness”

A.F.G. Bell

In Portugal , 1912







The short course called "Experience prototyping" is meant to let us explore form and expression of objects.

In this case I started form the idea of having a rough representation of a human being.

Thinking about a way to symbolise all humans, no matter sex, skin or any other way to discriminate, I decided to start from the inside, where all of us are the same. The skeleton.




I quickly defined and prototyped the shape of a vertebral spine.

Once built the first version, in foam-board, I iterated developing the shape accordingly to mechanical issues and improvements.


After a series of iterations the final structure has on the back side two thin wires running through the bones and connected to a servo motor that allow the movement upwards. On the front, an elastic band runs in the same direction and it is fixed on the base of the structure. This allows for the structure to take the original configuration of "sadness".






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