IDSA 2006 Day 1 afternoon cont.
IDSA 2006 Final day notes

IDSA 2006 Day 2

There was no morning sessions. My afternoon was spent at a session on Design for the other 5 million. These panels uncover an ambivalence that I have with the most priviledged "saving" the economies and cultures of the underdeveloped, poor, etc. Here are some of the notes from the session.

Design for the Majority, the other 5 million, those who make less than $30K per year

University of Washington program developed by Sergio Palleroni's Basic Initiatives of sustainability have fieldwork programs in:
Mexico
Seatele
India
Africa (AIDS)
American Indian
Migrants
Chicna

Fieldwork preparation: coursework, policy, case studies, seminars

Theories:
Service learning – Dewey
Participatory action research
Reflective learning

The have done waste treatment plants, zoological stations, worked with indigenous groups and mostly women’s groups. Students interact with community who have their own ways of working.

Example of global studio: Solar kitchen in Mexico in squatter communities

Built in the 1990s, place where people can provide food and learn about cooking and nutrition. Women provide food and sell at cost to the kids. Solar kitchens become part of the schools and become part of community. School becomes part of the community, used at night.

Solar condensers made of bicycle parts and vanity mirrors from the local markets. The building has to leave of the immediate resources. Use local resources and have the smallest resources. No building should have to have its lights on during the day. Collect solar energy and have lights at night.

32 thousand vanity mirrors to super heat water for cooking. Footprint of building is small. The café below is cool. The building is trying to mimic the grandmother tree. How can learn from tree in terms of evaporation and energy.

Project in Taipai Taiwan, 2nd largest density. 60% is national forest. All live compacted in smallest space. Event, people protested the destruction of their space. Did intimate portaites and families.

Redesign kilometer of university. Did the ecological thing. Drilled out the bathroom water and put it in gutters and skinning. Put green space on the top of the building. Graden cascade down green wall. Out of wall that separated university and community, rain water captured and build green houses. Created series of ponds and buildings off the grid. Reimaging an interior space. Showing that you can recreate the city.

Starting for zero, and think about your way of thinking, where the facts don’t matter. Hope to create better and more engaged citizens.

Speaker Mimi Robinson, Bridging Cultures through Design

She works in sustainable micro-enterprise and getting artisans work into the market. Worked for over 15 years. bridging cultures through design.

She talked about two projects: one in Cahlucanam Peru and the other in Lake Atittlan Guatemala.

Guiding principles:
Culture matters, behind product person, familu, community, and cultural values
Source matters, use local sources and local creativity
Story matters, eaise public awareness about critical issues to raise voice and awareness
Most people still make things with their hands. Lot of informal markets.

Artisans are under pressure, unable to break into international markets. Offer product development and design and business advice about how to break into new markets.

Chulucanas, Peru. Innovation in design. Selling smoked gorditos, but market was saturated. Tools wooden paddles, bamboo, metal drums, mango leaves

Process, spend two weeks looking and legacy and doing costing and pricing. Looking at skills and leadership qualities. Going from drawing to initial prototypes. Going after the modern handmade look. Initially there for 10 days. Artisans created own designs with the sketches. Took to the NY shows and had a hit. How do we go to 200k pots within 2 months. Developed more efficient production process.

5-6 families come together to develop. Continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. Continue to develop new products for clay. Nelle is exporter.

1996 $5k in sales with 2-3 exporters
2006 $3mill in sales with 20 exporters

Guatemala, educating future designers from RISD

Contacted three villiages with textile traditions and exporters
Spent four weeks doing research (cultural identity, free trade, market research)
About collaboration and shared dialogue.

Color
Reuse/recycle of traditional fabrics
Social (married and unmarried men are distinguished by embroidery on the pants).

Tried to weave on a back loom. Artisan helped students develop pompoms. Created a bundle bag. Student gave the design to the artisans.

Done in 2006.

Each project raises new questions.
What is success?
How can we measure it beyond economics?
What common values can we share?
How can designers be of service?

Culture, sources, and story matters.

William Gordon: Reflections on a mission to the Philippines.

Started at Kohler. Wanted to be part of the making process. Looked for opportunity to use design. CITEM, government organization that coordinates projects and shows. Bring in foreign and local designers. Design is the defining factor of success, differentiation in market place and for high margin.
Designed 175 products in 7 weeks.

Most manufacturers design based on materials around them. Made of “waste” products that are transformed into fashion and furniture commodities. CITEM employs over 100,000 people. 5 members per family.

Visited factories, documented products and process, designed on computers, relied completely on the individual skills and intuitions of craftspeople. Try to bring designers up to international level yet still be Filapino. Did controlled drawings and used to communicate directly with makers. Sharing and interaction btw designer and maker.

Raphaels legacy, used stone work. He would do computer model and they would intuitive interpret his drawings. People still make things with their hands.

Robles, lighting.
40% of Filipinos live below the poverty line.
Locsin: woven furniture. Line designed to bring Filipinos outside of their share.

There are just as many sex workers as factory workers. $5 is living wage. One thing learn, same times economy of scale. $5 is a pretty good job.

Resing and fiberglass with natural materials, labor intensive but able to use up surplus labor.

Natures Legacy: factory owners have grate respect for their workers.

The FAME show, April and October. 3000 buyers, 500 exporters, $64 million in sales

Design is about people who make the stuff, not just those who buy the stuff. Need to tackle shame of exploitative labor.

Go visit where products are made.

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