“Design can be used as an active tool to fight poverty and generate income and resilience in countries of the Global South through new types of creative economies.” – Gerardo Patacconi
Designers have a social responsibility. For too long, design was something like fashion: only for the happy few and very superficial. Designers were a kind of stylist. This all changed – now to an increasing extent designers are engaged as consultants specialized in finding solutions for everyday life. We are problem-solvers, and well placed to do so since we have a foot in production, in marketing and in developing things of beauty. Today, designers increasingly design for the real world.
The project is understood as an agent of change of the productive reality in a total way and as a catalyst of syncretistic reactions; and, the designer as an acting element inside the collective system of creation and not as an external protagonist of a process.
We are talking about a global methodology that can be applied to also help producers within Western countries like Italy, which are in trouble because of the crisis, “In the past I could see what I did had been a success because the owner of the company got a new car, but the workers were stuck in the same situation.” Of course, what I do is just a drop in the sea of problems, but I believe in small revolutions.
The designer is an acting element inside the collective system of creation, where we discover that, as the project advances, leaving aside the material part of the work, it is in the interactions that occur in the working groups and in the technical and linguistic “contamination” that the most interesting evolution develops, it is essential that outside consultants to the community become agents in the dynamics, creating at the same time new product typologies and new professional relationships among artisans.
The artisan is often a solitary artist, who works independently within permanent structures with defined techniques and materials. The artisan stays in his place of origin and depends on it to sustain his production. He is not in a position, nor has he the time, to relate with others and learn different techniques or alternative procedures.
The use of design a development tool should therefore be understood not just as the development of innovative product lines but also as the creation of new interactions among producers from different areas and through the use of different techniques.
The interaction between the producer and the project occurs in practice; it happens in a gesture which combines the transformation of the function and form. lt is necessary that the project work with the artisans on this basis: respecting their knowledge, tradition and history.