What does it mean to be a sustainable designer in a developing country?


New Brasil Logo from the Goverment

Answering a research about sustainability, one interesting question was: “What means to be sustainable or the benefits of being a sustainable designer in developing countries?” such as México, Brazil and others like India.

Therefore, I decided to write a quick post about it, but not focusing in the already known design-engineering aspects of being sustainable.

My perspective is about the “invisible” benefits of being a sustainable designer in a developing country  and its effect upon the profession and the country itself.

As designers we already know the environmental- technical benefits of being sustainable, but even so, which are the “invisible  benefits of being sustainable” to our country and profession?

I believe that being sustainable brought a new level of awareness of what means to a be a designer from a less developed country, this consciousness is  related to “rediscover” the country again, and start exploring new design possibilities, such as local materials – process – knowledge and how they can be applied for local  sustainable design solutions.

Being sustainable also raised  a “new proud” to nationals designers and the rediscovering of  old generations of designers such as Lina Bo Bardi and  Clara Porset, that were already sustainable more than 20 years ago.

The need to go to developed countries to “design sustainability or to learn” is weakening, and new design hubs are born daily in Brazil and  foreigner design – innovation consultancies are coming to Brazil to learn / understand our design mindset and take advantage of a huge market- country with a great economic potential.

One benefit of being a developing country is our  huge need for new products-services in a virgin market with few industries and factories. We have one of the biggest consumer-markets fo the world, but we don´t have products!

At the opposite of countries like USA we need a lot of new stuff and we don´t have it someone to designed and produce it.

Finally, sustainability in Brazil, Mexico and countries like Iindia foster  the national and international acknowledgement  or our design skills, capabilities and our singular creative quality as an example we have the Campana Brothers, and all the visibility they generated to Brazil and general brazilian design.

This process of self-discovering lead us to love our country, our design, and be proud and happy of being a brazilian, mexican, indian designer.

Not feeling any longer in disadvantaged with american or european designers.

It has been a slow growing inner process of years, maybe decades, that brings hope of a better country with a better design for all.

As a good news, industrial design profession in Brazil is finally acknowledged by the government after decades of conflicts between goverment, politics and designers. (Portuguese only)

Visit DECE for more info and sites about brazilian and mexican design (portuguese/spanish)

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2 thoughts on “What does it mean to be a sustainable designer in a developing country?

  1. Pingback: Is humanitarian design the new (design) imperialism? | Design Research Portal – #DRP

  2. domy na wesel

    I was pretty pleased to find this great site.
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