A student of the Industrial Design career at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) presented in a project the prototype of a vacuum cleaner shaped like a war tank and a swastika cross. Students and graduates of the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (FADU) made public the photos of the controversial project on Twitter and complained to the authorities asking them to take letters on the matter. They finally expelled the student from the chair.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, students upload their work to the Miro.com platform, where teachers evaluate and correct them. Other students noted that the file that had been uploaded at the end of October had corrections from the teacher in charge of the Computer Aided Design (DAC) chair but did not mention the Nazi symbols: “Beware of the iconography used in the product”; “Give more contrast to the shadows” and “Use a brightness to define the fillet”, were some of the annotations for the student. In the face of this controversial project, the students expressed themselves in a statement they sent to the FADU authorities: “Our companion’s vacuum cleaner includes Nazi iconography, flag colors and alludes to a war tank. Considering that Argentina is one of the most Jewish countries in the world, and highlighting the importance of history and repudiation of events like this, it is striking that the work has been exposed to Miro.com”. “The comments of the teachers in charge of the subject do not know the seriousness of the matter to the extent that they focus on technical issues,” they continued. In turn, students questioned that a week later they “choose to show the same (project), simply by eliminating the swastika, as if that had been the center of conflict.” “We are concerned that these kinds of offenses will circulate with impunity through the Faculty,” they concluded. The faculty’s response was to expel the young woman who had presented the project from the chair. Now students and graduates are also calling for sanctions for the responsible authorities.