Design Education, Fab Lab, Workshops and a 36h day

Coming back home I felt more energetic than ever to show, tell and do what I could to share what I’ve learned and discuss things. And I’ve found! Actually, they found me. Werkbund is a initiative I’ve seen grow beautifuly and now is becoming concrete. That’s why I couldn’t say no when Gabriella Martins invited me.

I think the designer is a role in a soft foundation, changing constantly and merging itself with other fields bla bla, it is known. But when we discuss the making of the field, there is usually a bunch of other designers or professionals very close to design. Sounds like a club. A very closed "no one else is cooler than us” club.

Then I started to wonder - influenced by Gabi: What if instead of providing just means to ideate and consolidate ideas we could provide means to create a mood? What if people where truly interested in making stuff by themselves without the heavy load and price of the word designing? I do believe it could change and empower people, professional designers or not. The meaning of the field wouldn’t need to be justified so much. A network of people, services and places, both digital and physical, would be the pulsating heart of a creative territory.

And that’s why I joined Gabriella and Emily (and a bunch of other tutors) to start this “mood” creation through the Programa Portomídia de Designers e Makers. My contribution was to explore prototyping techniques and its place and relevance in a practical way. To me, the biggest reason to try this was to encourage people to do things by themselves: you don’t need teachers as much as you think and in the way you usually think - at least here in Brazil, where education is kinda strict.



I don’t think I’m sadistic,  but it feels nice to watch people running clueless. That's the way I feel when starting to work. Almost if teaching this was about making someone confused enough to try to find the answer alone - and after that you try to help as much as you can, but you don’t really know all the way to the answer. During the course, Interactive Media, we saw this transition from clueless to confidence and fun. And this was rewarding. Also, with people from different backgrounds over the programme (they were from chemistry, music, journalism, architecture and so on) it was interesting to see that no matter what they studied: they wanted the same. An that’s when we introduced the paradigm of digital fabrication.

A FabLab

Warming up to set the first Fab Lab in the region, we  introduced new equipment in all the courses: Laser-cutter, 3d printer, Arduino and similars and the good old Brazilian tradition of fixing whatever is needed, whenever you have time with whatever you have around you: Gambiarra!

It was fun, warmed my heart and I feel I could start to see a true purpose to what I’ve learned.