Faculty and students at the School of Valparaíso really think of everything when it comes to the travesías. Considering that for trip each dozens of participants travel for at least two weeks and, until recently, by bus into the wilds of South America they had to plan the journey with considerable attention to detail. One of the most amusing anecdotes I’ve heard is of a professor requesting models from his Object Design students: they created a model of the bus they’d be traveling on as well as models of their backpacks to make sure everything could fit. It did. Among all the calculations, I really appreciate this series of exercises. The visuals are so clear and effective, preparing these young students for the toils of construction.
Curiously, these drawings reflect the affinity between the School of Valparaíso and the Bauhaus: “[Johannes] Itten began his classes with a focus on the students’ bodies, leading a series of exercises that drew on ancient yogic traditions and must have seemed far more exotic in 1920 than today: stretching to produce flexibility, isometric relaxation of different body parts in turn, rhythmic chants and breathing—a regime that [Paul] Klee wryly dubbed ‘a kind of body massage to train the machine to function with feeling.’”* Unfortunately, I can’t find any drawings related to Itten’s workout plan. But I like to think the travesía series does a good enough job.
With exercise on the brain, I couldn’t resist Kanye West. ps This song came out in 2004. Yes, we’re old, who cares. Happy Friday.
*Leah Dickerman, “Bauhaus Fundaments,” in Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, ed. Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2009), 16.