My next stop still in november was Buenos Aires for three main reasons: food, wine and Interaction South America 2014. Another destination I’ve never been before and stayed for a couple of weeks.
ISA 2014 was intense. Every time I go to conferences I try to remind myself to meet great people and don’t mind the “design talk”. As I commented before, I don’t really enjoy the gang vibe that comes when we have designers-only events. I feel uncomfortable, anxious, almost like a fraud. “If they discover I’m really interested in this new term they will banish me forever!”. I’m dramatic.
But in the middle of this overthinking I meet - and reencounter - people that relax me. Makes me feel happy to work, present me new perspectives, new problems, share beer… And with these ones I could guide me through the conference, which by the way offered a lot of content this year.
I was glad to find people talking about Interaction Design related to citizenship and beyond platforms. Also related to business, where Nathan Shedroff’s talk gave me a great inspiration to keep the work I’m trying to do at the company I’m actually on. Leonardo Agudelo’s workshop was especially relevant to my degree subject. To interact more with grassroots organisations is now part of my project and the relevance of participatory design was proved again. Overall it was a great time, I didn’t attend to all talks I wanted to, but it was my first impression of Buenos Aires. And it was great.
About Argentina/Buenos Aires
Where to begin… So, I decided to rent a place in Buenos Aires and try to find out what locals do. I do know Spanish but it was very hard to understand what was being said on the streets, kinda different from the European Spanish. I even had to use english a couple of times, ruining my local disguise. I could find my way around the porteño and discovered that it's an intense place to live and very pleasant. Based in what I experienced I can say:
- Argentinians are very polite with foreigners - Of course I’m not counting people that were trying to sell stuff to tourists. I was trying to escape from these traps.
- They appreciate/experience art on a daily basis - The number of well preserved art galleries and the value to art was clear, even on a touristic level. I wish some Brazilian cities had the same proud and initiative.
- The food is amazing - Restaurants in every neighbourhood, great prices and quality for almost every taste.
- They enjoy staying outside - which is one thing that makes me completely jealous. In Brazil I’ve only experienced this thirst to enjoy the city in Rio de Janeiro.
- They are very proud - and sometimes this lead to a discussion. Loud and messy discussion. They go out and fight for whatever they think is a reason, from politics to an common incident.
It was amazing. A great city, far from being clean and tidy and very much alive. Pictures below with some of my stops!