SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS: TRAINED
PROFESSIONALS FOR THE MODERN
The cultural supplements of Brazil's main newspapers splashed the heading:
"Swiss cows invade São Paulo." The item was one of the highlights of a
tourism-and-culture event promoted by the Swiss consulate and in fact referred
to life-size sculptures of cows by Brazilian and foreign artists. First
shown separately in different locations in São Paulo, these famous cattle
were eventually brought to São Paulo for a major exhibition at FAAP in 2000 - where their unusual proportions and
tone again showed the School's close
association with art, and especially
with the visual arts.
The School of Visual Arts was opened in the late 1960s as an educational project,
but one that took on the dimensions of an ambitious dream, as a synthesis of the creative
energy that directs the path of the Foundation. The first professors were leading
figures in the arts - including Marcelo Grassman, Caciporé Torres, Renina Katz, Darel
Valença, Mário Gruber, and Joaquim Manoel Ferreira. At that time, classes were taught
in the art museum, and the School was compared to the School of Fine Arts in Rio, a
benchmark in Brazil.
Today, there is an Art Education course and a qualification in Visual Arts at bachelor's
degree level; Architecture and Urbanism, and Industrial Design courses; short
courses in Arts and Fashion; a postgraduate program in Fashion and the Law; an mba
in Luxury Management, and outreach courses at the Cultural Center. These are all converging,
supplementary, or similar themes and are invariably associated with the professions
and markets of the future. There can be no talk of the future without mentioning
design, planning, and creativity to individualize work and careers, along with
the collective and behavioral aspects affecting work in these fields. These professions
depend on technological knowledge, a humanistic approach, and creativity - which
are the three interconnective mainstays for courses at the School of Visual Arts and at
FAAP as a whole.
The complex and constantly changing art market thrives on innovation, and FAAP
stays in the forefront by constantly anticipating changes and updating its syllabus.
The aim is to train professionals to meet the needs of this market. Pursuing the ideal
of continuing education, the School of Visual Arts works with a range of educational
and professional interests. Indeed, to revive the tradition that led to the school being
founded, "free" or nondegree courses were again offered in 2003. There are some forty
of these courses every year with leading professors focusing a wide range of aspects of the arts and culture (painting, sculpture, engraving, art history, photography, video,
style, jewelry, and others). The artists involved have included Jac Leirner, Leda Catunda,
Iran do Espírito Santo, Edgard de Souza, Caetano de Almeida, Keila
Alaver, Laerte Ramos, Rogério Degaki, Carlito Contini, Lia Schaia, and Pazé. There is also
a short course in arts with one semester minimum duration. Students choose their
own subjects and compose a syllabus with guidance from the coordinators, having access
to full infrastructure including workshops and studios.
The School encourages research and creates programs to promote meetings of
professionals, top executives, entrepreneurs, members of government, and students,
since the students of today will shape the world of tomorrow, and it is important
that the people governing society understand this fact. Scholarships, small external
remunerations, or monitored internships in the School or outside stimulate students
to respond not only as potential artists but also as people who clearly perceive
relations between art and human values and feel responsible for directing their efforts
toward the good of others. International agreements with institutions such as
the Louvre (Paris) or the Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg), the Kremlin Museum
(Moscow) or Pergamon (Berlin) provide students with additional chances of obtaining
more training, not to mention how important these exchange programs are
for Brazilian culture.
ART EDUCATION AS QUALIFICATION INVISUAL ARTS
Leading artists from a number of different generations have studied here, and the
course has set standards for art education. Artists found support to defining their role
in the world of visual art production. Educators have more opportunities to develop professional
projects in this specific field, associating with schools, museums, cultural centers,
and other organizations disseminating art and culture.
The eight-semester-long syllabus includes theoretical content (from art history to art
criticism) and specific techniques, with practice in studios and design workshops, painting,
engraving, pottery, modeling, wood, multimedia, and photography.
ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
The course provides basic experiences of the kind that are very significant for achieving
range and diversity in professional education. In 2000, a group of students went
to Italy to follow restoration work on the façades and interiors of Palazzo Pamphili,
which houses the Brazilian embassy and is key to understanding Baroque Rome. The
project involving FAAP and the embassy was successful both in terms of professional
training and the personal development of those involved. Architecture students also
observed restoration project at the Lutetia building in the "Old Center" of São Paulo,
which houses part of FAAP's museum, mab-FAAP. Equally important is the participation
of students at the São Paulo International Biennials of Architecture and Design.
At the 5th Biennial, on the theme of The Metropolis, first place went to the project designed
by FAAP students for the Brás neighborhood in São Paulo - specifically for a
plaza (Largo da Concórdia) that was deteriorating fast. There was another first place
award at the 6th Biennial, for the project Fragmentos da Luz - Uma Proposta de Unidade
[literally Fragments of Light - A Proposal for Unity]. The jury was composed of leading
Using teaching methodology based on full use of computers to design and develop
projects, the course lasts ten semesters and prepares students for the contemporary reality
in the profession. Over five years, the range of disciplines taught covers the main
areas of practice for architects in the Brazilian context. The aspects prioritized are housing,
public buildings, commercial and industrial construction, and urbanism (city design
and planning), with all the environmental, social, and economic implications.
"Design" has become a synonym for modernity in the contemporary world, in which creative
experience with functional objectives is decisive for success in different projects.
For 21st-century consumer society, a quality product has to be environmentally and socially
acceptable as well as culturally recognized. In its pursuit of excellence, the Industrial
Design course at the School of Visual Arts pursues this rationale literally down to
the smallest details.
The course offers qualifications in Graphic Design and Product Design. The former
trains specialists with a profound study of all items that make graphic language an essential
element of modern life: color, printing, photography, and diverse methods of producing
images. Activities turn on planning to approach, discuss, understand, and produce
technical, aesthetic, and economic aspects associated with the press, the printing
industry, video, and graphic design in cityscapes.
Product Design is for students interested in developing products and objects and
their social and technological aspects related to industry, and in using them to enhance
quality of life. Every stage involved in planning a product is analyzed in workshops, and
projects are developed by teams. Both courses have supplementary activities, such as the
Design Week as well as lectures and seminars with leading professionals from this field.
FASHION - SHORT COURSE
The history of fashion is fascinating as a creative manifestation and cultural determinant
in each age of human history, and this is reflected at FAAP. Prominent figures
such as Pierre Cardin (for an inaugural class), Oscar de la Renta, Christian Lacroix, Jum
Nakao, and Ocimar Versolato, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Reinaldo Lourenço - in
fashion shows featured during the São Paulo Fashion Week - have been the Foundation's
guests. In these situations, the glamour of incredible clothes and the credibility
associated with these stylists become the pretext for serious educational projects in a
professional field that is drawing evermore interest, especially in Brazil, where fashion
has become a popular theme in recent decades.
FAAP has been teaching fashion since 1989, when Brazil's clothing industry was revolutionized
as trade liberalization brought more imports - the course now has the status
of a supplementary university course. It lasts two years and is open to candidates
who have concluded secondary school or professionals who have graduated in other
subjects. Highly experienced teaching staff help master applications of creative concepts
and enable graduates to develop esthetically toward a differentiated style or way
of working, so they can become agents of change in the fashion world with an understanding
of the process as a whole, from designing collections and models to marketing
textiles and clothing industry products.
POSTGRADUATION IN FASHION CREATION MANAGEMENT
In partnership with The Brazilian Textile Industry and Apparel Association (locally
abit) and the São Paulo Art Museum (masp), FAAP started a postgraduate program in
Fashion Creation Management. Starting in 2005, the course trains professionals for
leading roles on the local and international fashion scenario. The idea is to set up a forum
for discussing issues such as creative design, art, behavior, communication, technology,
and the market, as different aspects of fashion with the aim of incorporating
new artistic ideas and concepts to the industry.
Expanding the professional horizons of high-level designers and facilitating their involvement
in the sector's companies are also course aims, as is innovative research into
the languages of fashion to highlight the interaction between new textile technology
and fashion design.
FAAP's School of Visual Arts is the only one in Brazil to offer Luxury Management as
a totally innovative course that is fully integrated with internationalization and the
new order in business.
Companies in what is known as the luxury goods segment have specific features
positioning them on a high level of excellence. They differ from other sections in certain
aspects of their work, from design to manufacture, from technology to material, and
through to customers. They make objects of desire and the stuff of consumer dreams.
Luxury has an emotional impact; it must be natural and not ostentatious and the approach
is to create the sensation of being unattainable but not intimidating. This market
turns over about 1.5 billion dollars per year in Brazil. However, a major difficulty
for these foreign or local brands (or signature brands) involved in the internationalization
process is the shortage of skilled designers, stylists, and managers. Even customer
relations in this segment feature unconventional characteristics. At FAAP (one of
the first to teach design in Brazil), the mba in Luxury Management was another early
move. The two-year program comprises 588 units (468 in the classroom, eighty distance,
and forty working on a thesis) and is aimed at graduates with fluent English and
at least six years' experience of management positions. The basic concept is that luxury
has to be managed with simplicity.