ecodesign from the streets of rio

Interesting article in EL PAIS today about young "ecodesigners" from Brasil - Ecodiseño de las calles de Río de Janeiro in the ECOLAB blog by Clemente Álvarez. Both are equally transparent regarding both their inspiration and their abhorrence of waste.

Tati Guimaraes arrived in Barcelona from Rio de Janeiro in 1998, and was horrified by the what people threw away. Inspired by the almost obligatory and often ingenious reuse of the most unusual discarded objects and materiales prevalent in her home City, she began explore the possibilities of ecological objects with extended and/or repeated useful lives, using ring pulls, wine corks and tetra bricks. In Rio, through necessity, "The streets are full of true ecodesigners". The philosophy of her company CICLUS is rooted in the relationship between human beings, materials and consumption.

1) Diseñar utilizando el mínimo de tintas y materiales.
2) Aprovechar el material al máximo, sin desperdicios.
3) Reutilizar materiales siempre que sea posible.
4) Privilegiar materiales que respeten el medio ambiente, de procedencia ecológica, reciclados o certificados.
5) Reducir los procesos de producción.
6) No utilizar productos tóxicos o peligrosos.
7) Diseñar objetos útiles y durables para evitar que sean inmediatamente tirados a la basura.
8) Cuándo sea posible, diseñar objetos multifuncionales para ahorrar en materiales y proceso productivo.

wine corks


ring pull

As Tecnologias da Sobrevivência na “Rua dos Inventos ("Survival Technologies in the “Street of Inventions”) by Gabriela de Gusmão Pereira,  is a personal search for what she calls "The Inventors of the Art of Survival", the street dwellers who use the technology of necessity in order to survive. Her book is a catalogue of inventions, reuse,  and recycling in some of the most hostile of urban environments.

Digo logo que, ao aceitar a agradável empreitada, pensei menos em invadir searas alheias do que nas saudáveis provocações à teoria da arte, num país ainda pobre e de periferia, que podem estar contidas neste trabalho sobre objetos inventados por moradores de rua, pequenos prestadores de serviços e vendedores ambulantes – os camelôs do Rio de Janeiro ou marreteiros de São Paulo. - PAULO SERGIO DUARTE

sweet vendor

peanut vendor

bottletop doormat

"The methods identified in street inventions are foreign or even antagonistic to those traditionally reputed as sine qua non conditions for the establishment of an object as a product of design. The pieces are not industrially produced from a mould allowing mass reproduction; they are not conceived by a design professional and show no correspondence to the market superstructure. The street inventor can also follow the process through and interfere in the outcome during production. Quite differently, the designer designs, normally a model, that will be industrially mass-produced in a production line, a process wherein interferences are no longer possible.This demonstration grounds that, in this respect, the methods framed in this Street of Inventions share more kinship, through similarity, with those used by artisans."Gabriela de Gusmão

There is also now a cooperative movement in Brasil that agglutinates and attempts to regulate what we would probably quite unreasonably name "scavengers": those people who sift through junk, rubbish and scrap in order to survive. Since 2005, the Movimento National dos Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis has dedicated itself to revaluate, dignify, improve and organise the working conditions of these Catadores. The movement regards "scavenging" as recycling, and argues that it's members perform a useful social and ecological function, whilst attempting to maintain the independence of its members and freedom from political influence.

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