My research focuses on the interaction of designers with local communities in order to support social and ecological sustainability. I offer an in depth analysis on the appropriation of new methods of production for the native rubber from the Amazon and creative developments in design and crafts.
Areas of interest:
Design and Crafts
Projects of Social Innovation and Sustainability
Pesquiso a relação de designers com comunidades locais na produção de materiais e artesanato em que dedico um olhar aprofundado sobre a minha experiencia com comunidades seringueiras no estado do Acre.
Areas de atuação:
Design e artesanato
Projetos em Inovação Social e Sustentabilidade
Design practice within communities:
the materiality of the native rubber from the Amazon Rainforest
My research investigates the relationship between designers and local communities. My investigation looks at how design practice
actions in the context of local communities in order to promote and support social and environmental sustainability. I draw evidence from my professional practice within rubber tapping communities from the Amazon Rainforest who have embraced a new technology in the processing of rubber. The handcraft method of the rubber production empowers traditional rubber tappers living and working in the rainforest to produce coloured, ready to use rubber sheets in situ. The creative appropriation of this innovation by community members has been generating additional alternative opportunities for rubber tapping communities, whose activities are threatened by competition from the contemporary rubber industry. The perception that artefacts, materials and tools work as meeting points for the collaborative practice stimulates the critical reflection on the designer’s approach and roles within local communities. The artefact-mediated point of view of this research informs the emergence of immaterial dimensions of the participatory process, which resonates in this case, beyond the materiality of the rubber, with consequences on the rainforest preservation, emotional wellbeing, and the formation of new identities allied to the maintenance of a tradition. Through this context, I examine processes and implications of the design practice within productive and creative communities.
Kate Fletcher (Director of Studies); Professor Sandy Black; Dilys Williams