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Designing for liberation

Design is often defined as a professional activity that produces physical and symbolic artifacts. However, in contemporary common parlance, the design word is also used to describe the characteristics of this professional activity’s products. Despite professionals claiming responsibility for these qualities, there is ample evidence that such qualities are not defined solely by professionals. Instead, design qualities are selected and shaped by a collective activity which includes amateurs and users. Hence, professional designers design in their works based on what non-professionals design in their everyday lives. The collective reproduction of patterns is an evidence of this collective design activity, which we may call design livre in Portuguese. This freedom does not exist without control, though. The State and corporations limit this freedom through symbolic violence, regulations, standards, technological dependence, and training. This research project aims at developing ways to resist and deconstruct these limits, finding breaches to develop autonomous design projects, in particular, in communities that seek freedom of design as a way to liberate from historical oppressions. The goal of this research project is to develop the philosophical as well as a practical foundations for a right to designing freedom.

Projeto grafico5 img 26Fact sheet

Duration: 2010-ongoing
Team: 2 researchers + several communities
Major achievement: Corais Platform (+700 community projects, +6000 members).


Categories: Research Projects.

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