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The Invasion of the Gringo Design Thinker (2021)

On the World Theatre of the Oppressed Day on March 16, 2021, the Design & Oppression Network broadcasted a forum theater called The Invasion of the Gringo Design Thinker. The play proposes a debate about the relevance of foreign design thinking to Brazilian popular culture and its forms of expression. Following the remote forum theater method, the spect-actors wore augmented reality masks to express the aesthetics of the oppressed.

Full recording

Cast and crew

  • Andrei Gurgel, production designer
  • Bibiana Serpa, as Bete Designer
  • Desirée Maestri, as joker
  • Imaíra Portela, as System Z program manager
  • Frederick van Amstel, joker-director
  • Marco Mazarotto, as Tom Black CEO
  • Michelle Cruz, as Jussara Artesã
  • Rafaela Angelon, joker
  • Ricardo Artur, joker
  • Sávio Ferreira, as Marquinho CEO


Act I

A Brazilian artisan needs to professionalize her sales and reach out to the System Z entrepreneurial program. System Z is working with a foreign consultant who offers an innovative approach to small entrepreneurs: design thinking. The first act shows a video call between the artisan and the gringo design thinking consultant.

The gringo design thinker tries to help the artisan with plenty of design thinking and business design toolkits, but she does not understand his jargon, which is composed mainly of English words. A Brazilian designer enters the call and tries to translate what the gringo is saying, eventually trying to explain what the artisans need.

The briefing conversation does not move forward, and the Brazilian designer decides to end the connection with the artisan and call System Z. System Z’s consultant reveals that she is financing this help to the artisan through a policy of incentive to national design but regrets what is happening.

Act II

System Z consultant calls the artisan and presents the slides with the visual identity created by the gringo design thinker. The artisan doesn’t like anything. System Z Consultant calls the Brazilian designer to defend the identity, but she can’t do it properly.

System Z Consultant calls a social network CEO to explain the positioning strategy on social networks, but the artisan does not accept it either.

The Artisan refuses to participate in the entrepreneurial program. System Z consultant asks the Brazilian designer to replace the artisan. However, the gringo design thinker interrupts the call to tell he has a much better solution: to replace the artisan with artificial intelligence just developed in his country.

Categories: My work.

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