Oh Hai! We are A Parede, a brazilian design research duo currently living in Berlin. Our research interests fall within decolonial thought, radical pedagogies, gender and sound studies.
Drop us a line for collaborations, requests, ideas and/or general friendliness: firstname.lastname@example.org
In April 2014, Pedro was invited by SOMA to give a talk and a workshop on his research and practice. SOMA is a very interesting research endeavour from UNESP (Pedro’s former University) in Bauru, Brazil which aims to present the work from former (and rather old) students to newcomers.
They’ve also asked him to tell a little bit of his own story through University years up to the point of where he is now.
I decided to focus the talk on an interesting thought that occurred to me when I was, at the same time, moving to another country and going to Europe for the first time in my life. In the middle of the night during the trans-oceanic flight all the lights on the plane went on and the flight attendants were asking for doctors in the plane who could speak both Portuguese and English. Seeing around ten people promptly leave their seats mid-flight to provide help to a sick woman, I immediately realized that such a situation would be definitely unlikely to happen to a designer, in any situation.
Back then, with all the anxiety and proudness of moving abroad to start a Masters in “Digital Media” (whatever I thought it would be at that time), I started asking myself about the role of the Designer in an emergency situation. When times are uncertain and a crisis is imminent, on what should designers act, which tasks should we take on ourselves? Even though I was not asking this question to myself literally all the time, I’m pretty sure it directed my entire course of action during my Masters, and eventually made me end up where I am. So I thought it could be an interesting anecdote to move the presentation forward, and hence the title “Designers Will (Not) Save the World”.
Furthermore, the talk introduced the students to Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) from its inception as “Critical Architecture” to the alleged “first wave” stemming from the RCA in London around the turn of the century. Afterwards, many of the problems that have been pointed out in this text, and also served as the motivation for the Design in Times of Crisis project, were presented and discussed.
By showing the students not only the potential of SCD, but also its current problems, the talk intended to present this practice keeping these tricky questions in mind, so as to help propel the discipline into interesting and novel directions.
A big thanks to everyone in SOMA for the opportunity and keep on rockin’!