The Royal StudioMagazine Design | 26 Sep 2016
DESIGN ON THE BOIL
“Design vortex, playful, representing obsessive-compulsive disorder like a monkey on metabolic steroids with a passion for reason” – these are some of the assertive principles that João Castro peremptorily assumes as his own and applies in the projects he develops at The Royal Studio, a graphic design studio created in 2011.
The history of João Castro and of his relationship with the universe of structuring and formatting print media doesn’t start on this date. Rather, long before then, when, after having opted to study biology at the University of Aveiro, in light of his interest in science and in studying the body, João was irretrievably attracted to the underground and anti-system culture of hip hop, categorically surrendering to the creation of graffiti. It was these tags and graphic elements outlined on the walls of the city of Oporto, freed from their spray cans by João in stylised and complex letterings that woke him to the visual universe.
This discovery of the world in the letters and characters that shape it and give it depth led João Castro, once he had ditched his scientific intentions, to complete a degree in communication design at ESAD – Escola Superior de Artes e Design. At ESAD, João acquired the conceptual skills – in history of art, semiotics, critique, contemporary culture – he needed to do design. Different from the more artistic field of graffiti in that it is part of the world of applied arts, design, in its quest to solve the problems of others, also deviates from a certain autism characteristic to graffiti, which, despite being on show to the public, doesn’t try to communicate with the other, rather with itself.
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@Photo: Orlando Fonseca
Text: Paula Monteiro
Photos: The Royal Studio
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