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
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 present/near-future scenario where we situate our doctoral researches.
This scenario concentrates on events taking place outside of the usual UK/US/EU circuit, focusing specifically in Latin America and Brazil. Though many of the issues discussed in this project do apply to other places in the world, its main concern is looking home. A focus on the very dystopian reality of developing countries allows us to explore the relationships between political, economic or social turmoil and technological developments through a perspective often neglected within the speculative design community.
Pointedly, this project also aims to challenge and question the political and ethical accountability of current speculative design practices, and hopes to further push its boundaries.
The first outcome of this year-long research is a speculative timeline set in 2038 Brazil.
We are still collecting evidence in a Tumblr Blog. Our sources are the living dystopias our friends and families have to endure everyday back home.
In Brazil, the Statute of the Unborn changes everything. Life is now legally defined as beginning at the moment of conception. Abortion has always been illegal, but now its definition is broader. The morning after pill and the IUD have been outlawed because they may prevent a fertilized egg from successfully implanting and developing. Even the birth control pill is now a highly controlled medication due to fears that it might be used – in higher doses – for the same purposes of the morning after pill.
Oniria is the first product to be released under the new legislation. Distributed through the country’s public healthcare system, Oniria consists of two parts: a small device which is clipped to the corner of the lips at night and tracks basal body temperature and hormonal levels; and an app that calculates when ovulation is supposed to happen based on the data collected by the device. The information is transmitted to the patient’s healthcare provider; in order to access this information, patients must contact their doctor. However, some premium versions of the product – not available in the public healthcare system – allow the patient direct access to their cycle data.
The "Ocupação Algerinha" or "Vila Algerinha", formerly known as "Ocupação Dona Algerinha" was one of the biggest occupations in South America in the first decades of the twentieth-first century. During its five-year existence, the occupation was home to around 120.000 people, distributed over an area of approximately 1.33 square kilometers in Southeastern Brazil. The exact origins of the occupation are unknown, but it is believed that the families were initially part of a transmigrational group in Latin America which, in itself, was dissident from a larger group of families directly affected by the housing crisis that followed the wave of Coups d’Etat all over the continent. Due to increased incentives to real estate markets, progressive gentrification in big cities, and the suspension of most social housing programmes in South America, thousands of families – many of whom also unemployed – were forcefully expropriated from their homes, and hence started waves of peregrination and demonstrations all over the continent, particularly in the Southern Cone and Brazil.
In Latin America, reality is always dangerously touching dystopia. Even though sometimes it feels that we are moving forward, violence and inequality keep pushing us back to realities much akin to our colonial past, and our history seems to repeat itself. The invasion of land, military coups, police brutality, violent regimes, and the genocide of indigenous and Afro-Latin peoples are all integral to the fabric of our reality. The cyclical nature of our history emerges as it becomes clear that the structures of power pushing us back to the past have, in fact, never left. We are left feeling like actors in a play, performing the same scenes over and over again.
Visual essay published in Spring 2016 at the special issue on 'Mestizo Technology' of the Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus, Vol.12, No. 1. Full essay available in this link.
We were invited by the organizers of the FAD Fest in Barcelona, Spain, to speak at the 3rd annual "Open Design/Shared Creativity" Conference. We took part in a round table/open session assessing the relationship between Speculative and Critical practices with that of Open Design. Along with the two of us the session was also joined by Laura Forlano, Lisa Ma and hosted by Ramon Sangüesa from "La Mandarina de Newton". Find here a summary and some slides of our presentation, followed up by our own wrap-up of the discussion that followed afterwards during the session. Our warmest thanks to Viviana Narotzky, Sol Polo and Ramon Sangüesa for making this session possible. All pictures from the FAD Fest Session by Xavi Padrós. More of them can be found here.
Inspired by the tense political and social ordeal happening in Brazil as of 2013-14, we decided to develop a Workshop specifically aimed at brazilian designers. We were given the opportunity to make this workshop happen in three different settings (at a University, a NGO and at a design studio) and in two different formats (twice as a hands-on workshop and once as a round table). This diversity of formats and places surely made the discussions very different from one another and provided several perspectives on the subject. We think that this exchange of opinions, and, most of all, the possibility to talk openly about politics in different contexts in which the social role of design is often taken for granted is the most powerful outcome we could expect from this firs installment of our research.