Oh Hai! We are A Parede, a brazilian design research practice in Berlin.
Our research interests are in Speculative and Critical Design, Gender and Sound Studies.

Drop us a line for collaborations, requests, ideas and/or general friendliness: hello@a-pare.de

Our Current Research:

How may Design Research help us prepare ourselves for a State of Exception? “Design in Times of Crisis” is an ongoing project framing an immediate presente/near-future Brazil.

The first outcome of this year-long research is a speculative timeline set in 2038 Brazil.

We are also collecting evidences on a Tumblr Blog. Main sources are the living dystopias our friends and families have to endure everyday back home.

Other Featured Content:

This is an experimental format for academic publications in/with/through sound, developed in Copenhagen in 2015 as part of the “Fluid Sounds, Fluid States” conference, and later edited in Berlin. The format follows insights I’ve developed in my article published in Design Issues. The “Audio Paper Manifesto” written by the organizers can also be read here.

This audio paper is an experimental fusion of Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) with sound-based research methods. It is part of an ongoing investigation into the politics of designing for sound, and its accountability for the configuration of violent soundscapes.

Image credit: Graphics by Signe Lupnov, photo by Sanne Krogh Groth

This article discusses how Sonic Fiction—a concept developed by cultural theorist Kodwo Eshun—can be regarded as a cogent mechanism with which to develop Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) projects, using subjects of sound, music, and listening as their driving force. Through a dissection of the base premises of sonic fictions, this article aims to expand the perspectives taken so far by SCD projects in order to encompass languages other than those informed by the usual theories, as well as to broaden the spectrum of possibilities for sound-based practices within the field. In doing so, it suggests sonic fiction as a decolonial epistemology for assessing design questions.

Published at Design Issues Vol. 32, No. 2 – Spring 2016.

In September 2015 we were invited by Rachel Uwa from the School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe to give a talk on “world-creation”, under their 2015 Program “Fabricating Empathy.” Joining us in this talk/panel was designer and former RCA alumni Sascha Pohflepp, as well as the program’s instructors Sitraka Rakotoniaina and Andrew Friend.

We decided to shift the theme’s focus to “world negation” instead, particularly focusing on the refugee crisis (at the time only starting to be discussed in Germany/EU), and the negation of human rights in Brazil.

Speculative design is going through a troubled adolescence. Roughly fifteen years after interaction design duo Dunne and Raby first started talking about “critical design”, the field seems to have grown up a bit too spoiled and self-centered. Being a fairly young approach to product and interaction design, it seems to have reached a tipping point of confusion, rebellion, contrasting opinions and confrontations. Presently, from practitioners to theorists there seems to be little consensus about what the field is able to offer – and whether it is of any use at all. In this article we hope to pinpoint some reasons why this is so, while at the same time offering not possible, plausible or probable but preferable developments for the field.

Contribution to the 1st Edition of “Modes of Criticism“. Check their Website to order a copy, or get the full article at academia.edu.

Photo credit: Francisco Laranjo/Modes of Criticism

This is a series of objects that confront and reclaim sonic space. It starts from a very simple observation: that silence is never a dialogue, but an imposition. Silencing is an attitude observed in a lot of instances in society, but more often than not it concerns issues of gender, class and ethnicity. Latin americans in the US, turkish and middle-eastern people in northern Europe, women in general – these are all subjects of constant angry looks, reprimand and shushing. We are constantly deemed as “loud”, “annoying”, “uneducated” and other less friendly adjectives.

These objects are meant to allow a reconquering of this stolen sonic space – and they do so by also occupying physical space.

“It’s always a problem, so it’s not a problem anymore” – Overheard from a Thai friend, fruitlessly trying to make people pronounce his name correctly.

First you try to make it work. It doesn’t. You try again. It still doesn’t. And this is where the negotiation process starts. Remotes, video games, TVs. Banging, twisting or shaking have always been part of our relationship with technology. Wherever there is an ill-designed or semi-broken object there is a human counterpart trying to discover a way to make it work. Sometimes it’s clever. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s just plain weird. The Bang Theory is series of experiments and reflections on our negotiation rituals towards everyday objects.

This is a project we started in 2010 and left it hanging for a while. We liked the process and the preliminary results, but were not so happy with the final product. So we decided to revisit and give it a fresh start with some new stories.