Objects are all around us every day. They can be useful, or beautiful. We often use them in a careless and automatic way. About 1 century ago with the rise of contemporary Design, objects became an expression of social imaginary, material shapes of the Zeitgeist as well as of the views of their designer: a vehicle of culture. Thanks to the intuition of a specific branch of puppetry, which we will call “Object & Figure Theatre”, objects can also be storytellers. They thus transcend their material and utilitarian dimension to earn a soul, a life, a destiny of their own. The Puppets & Design project (P&D) aims to emancipate everyday objects from their utilitarian feature, instead lifting them up to the role of meaning and artistic expression conveyers, communication and intercultural dialogue tools. P&D will interweave the paths of puppet theater artists and of designers. The designers’ competence can help puppetry to renew itself; puppetry and object animation will help designers to rethink objects and give them a soul by giving them specific shapes. P&D will innovate the Puppetry practice and increase its popularity with adults, children, families, schools by cross-fertilization with design practitioners (professional designers, scholars, students) through a set of cultural, educational and promotional EU activities. P&D involves 3 puppet theatres (from IT, CZ, SI) and a higher education school of design (from ES). The project will provide new artistic and professional inputs to both puppetry and design practitioners, and to the audience, whom the project aims to expand and diversify by focusing on objects which could belong to everyone’s daily experience yet can provide self-produced artistic experiences. The project’s dissemination events strategy will foster knowledge of the historical and cultural heritage of the "Object & Figure Theatre", often wrongly confined to the children's world, gaining to it an increasingly widespread and diverse audience..
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