Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Bremen and Rio de Janeiro
Thamya RochaGlobalDesignAn intercultural analysis of street lifein Bremen and Rio de Janeiro
Global Design An intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen Thamya Rocha 2011 Advisors: Prof. Peter von Maydell (HfK Bremen) Prof. Dr. Annette Geiger (HfK Bremen)The content of this book was made within the frameworkof the research project: Global Design: an interculturalanalysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen,as the Master Thesis (Master of Arts) developed in caseof completion of the Digital Media Master Program,an international program of study offered by fourinstitutions: School of Arts of Bremen, University ofBremen, University of Applied Sciences Bremen andUniversity of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven.
GlobalDesignAn intercultural analysis of street lifein Bremen and Rio de Janeiro
Contents Introduction 04 2.2.2 Bremen 157 Documentation 157 Analysis 168 1 Methodology 08 2.2.3 Implementation 174 1.1 Research 10 2.3 Mobility 186 1.2 Interview — Martí Guixé 18 1.3 Thesis 24 2.3.1 Rio de Janeiro 189 Documentation 189 Analysis 200 2 Field Research 30 2.3.2 Bremen 207 Documentation 207 2.1 Food 32 Analysis 224 2.1.1 Rio de Janeiro 35 2.3.3 Implementation 230 Documentation 35 Analysis 60 Conclusion 246 2.1.2 Bremen 67 Documentation 67 Outlook 250 Analysis 94 Final considerations 252 2.1.3 Implementation 98 End notes 254 2.2 Vending 116 List of references 256 2.2.1 Rio de Janeiro 119 Documentation 119 List of figures 258 Analysis 136
Introduction Streets are an extremely rich environment. People circulate on the public ways, they move from one place to the other, go shopping, eat and even spend their leisure time. But is it the same everywhere? Do different cultures have their own needs and habits in the streets? What could design professionals learn from this? This book is a guide that exemplifies how it would be possible to analyze global contexts through design methods of research. Heterogeneous techniques of field exploration, like interviews or simple chit-chatting, photographing, research on newspapers and local literature, collection of materials and notes, all together are techniques used to help on getting meaningful information from different social environments. Those methods, combined with a sensitive and empathic approach, endorse the effort to get the understanding about people’s reality and necessities on the streets in a global sense of research. Analyzing extreme cultures is a way for revealing and exploiting contradictions that can raise valuable information to design, as Gui Bonsiepe explains in the article Are virtues an antiquated concept? ‘Respect to otherness’ is one of the virtues that the designer would like to see inherent to design production on this century, leaving to the past the exploratory and harmful globalization on which developing countries are seen as ‘exotic’ references for new trends and exploitation . The comparison between different habits, lifestyle and objects present on distinct environments can provide a better comprehension about human necessities on the global context. As McDonough and Braungart clarify, getting to know other realities can certainly enrich and broaden the understanding about people’s needs and our own, the shock of cultural diversities extend viewpoints and can stimulate innovatory changes . On their book Cradle to Cradle — remaking the way we make things, an extensive study on eco-effective ways of changing design production system into a status of respectful coexistence between people and the natural world, they defend that maintaining the diversity of the world we live in, during the designing stage of production, is also a way of prolonging the lifetime of the products.4 5
It is common practice in applied arts, to plan research for new the other location, in other cultural environment. Together with the projects based on travels to other countries. From that experiences observation and documentation, the Implementation was the moment it is possible to collect new references on materials from different for experimenting concepts and ideas in the field, already with the cultures and to have learning experiences from new creative processes. purpose of gathering some feedback and analyzing the reaction of Unfortunately, in some cases, those international investments mean people about the situations they were exposed. merely exploitation towards new environments, where people have as purpose just discovering new pointless deviates in design or fashion. When considering design, there is a lot to observe and learn with the Luckily, there are people that act differently, like the project Spagat! comparison between daily life aspects of distinct cultures, especially Design Instanbul Tasarimi. This initiative combined pictures, local when talking about such a rich environment as the street. But how to literature, and testimonials to explore the rich collection of design turn those potential ideas into actions that will make some difference? production from Instanbul, Turkey — an important cultural center How to build this bridge between the lives of people and the ones that between Europe and Asia —, revealing the multi-faceted lifestyle project the world of objects and services that they interact with? This and design scene from the city. Max Borka and Marta Herford lived book is an attempt on exploring ways to build a connection between in Istanbul for a period of a hundred days and the objects collected them. It aims to promote variate insights and generative possibilities together with the knowledge learned during this time served as for design outcomes that would be possible through the research material for an exhibition and a book about the experience . methods that are presented. With documentation and the realization of experiments on field, this guide explores design research and Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and projecting methods for enriching and innovating the effort of the ones Bremen explores aspects that are characteristic of each culture, Brazilian working with global contexts. and German, in order to create a consistent basis for research on services, behavior changes, cultural aspects and on global markets when related to street scenarios. The research brings up the daily lives scenes of both cities, exposed through pictures and statements of ordinary people. Design and marketing professionals can follow into design experiences of projecting, testing and prototyping, profiting of broader possibilities for discussion and new insights for new procedures. For focusing the research, three main aspects were selected as guidance: Food, Vending and Mobility. Among other important characteristics of the public ways, those aspects were chosen for carrying social and cultural aspects that characterize in an efficient manner the German and the Brazilian contexts. Each topic passed through the following steps of research: Documentation, Analysis“The Flâneur is almost always ingenuous. He and Implementation. The Documentation was the ‘flâneur’ moment,stops to watch the street fights, he is the eternaloutsider at every ball, he wants to know the cake sometimes a detective work or even stalker. This was the momentsellers’ story; he is simply in wonder of it all. for observing, discovering, taking pictures and gathering informationAnd knowing every street, every alley, everycul-de-sac, knowing a part of their story as one concerning the lifestyle on the streets of the two cities. On theknows the story of one’s friends (or the part they Analysis, the material collected for each city is evaluated and, alongtell), he ends up with the vague idea that thewhole spectacle of the city was specially made with synthesis schemes and diagrams, it provides new perspectivesfor his personal delectation.”  and insights. On the Implementation, aspects present in one city are chosen, and transformed in experiments to be tested in field in6 7
1.1 Research times out of the office, also called sabbaticals, are to experience new environments and gathering inspiration on new projects. Stephan Sagmeister is one of the designers known for the sabbaticals he takes Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro from his office in New York. Every seven years, he stops all the production and Bremen organizes resources that can be used to realize a work of and for one yearlong period he connects himself to other working reality, research and sketching on design research field, for exploring global one searching for self-realization and constant inspiration. This way, contexts. Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, and Bremen, in Germany, are the the graphic designer integrates himself to the local life of the place he environments chosen for this study on the way people live, the habits chooses to go, getting to work with artisans and other professionals of they have, how they do things and how they relate themselves with the the chosen places. From those travels Sagmeister develops experimental objects around them. and personal projects, and collect material and experiences that will serve as inspiration for future projects.  The two cities, from two different cultures, will be presented by their everyday life scenes on public ways that were documented during equal research periods spent in both. During this time the most important experience was to get in contact with both realities and document through photography, recordings, and the collection of “The first sabbatical year worked materials, everything that seemed interesting or peculiar during that time. The work demanded constant curiosity about the street life scenes and empathy with people interviewed, making it possible to really well for me. What came out of it? always have diverse and sharp input. Getting to know other cultures by documentation of travels is a refresher that turned into routine for some design offices. The purposes of those – I really got close to design again. – I had fun. [Fig. 1.] [Fig. 2.] – Basically everything we have done in the seven years following the first sabbatical, came out of thinking“Talkative Chair – The text of this chair simplyrefers to a diary entry written while sitting on in that one single year.” our balcony in Bali where the chair itself wouldultimately be placed.” 10 11
Some people have different focus and prefer to utilize their international travels for researching on different contexts and developing further work of dissemination of the research and of “Make a design in the image of your the visual material collected. Willing to do a detailed overview on the design scene and lifestyle in Istanbul, the project Spagat! Design Istanbul Tasarimi gathered a rich variety of materials for beloved Istanbul, a layered city in which its documentation: pictures of street scenes and of the urban life environment, objects of the everyday life of people, habits and scenes that are part of local life; everything is there. Showing socio-economic so many parallel worlds, present, past aspects, and cultural examples together with an analysis of the past and the contemporary design scene, the project allows everyone to have a better understanding on design and life in Istambul . The or futuristic, constantly interweave. research Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen will, as Spagat!, explore the social, cultural and economic aspects of Rio de Janeiro and Bremen, and will show with its Make your design be the bridge between research that the understanding of the context is mandatory for the work of the designers and other professionals interested on design, marketing and services markets. opposites that have always been held to On the same direction, but here more market-oriented, there are designers that are careful with the cultural aspects that are reflected be irreconcilable, such as the abstract and through design on a global scale. Droog, a design office in Holland, shows concern in the relation between design and the social, economical and cultural aspects of different contexts . Between the sensual, nature and mathematics orOn the images below, some spreads of the bookSpagat! Design Istanbul Tasarimi. On the bookit’s possible to see an extensive researh about 2009 and 2011, the office created an internal group called Droog Lab, a special force for dealing with contemporary global issues like global demographic and economic shifts, latest scientific developments, the archaic and futuristic.” the city’s lifestyle, culture and design. [Fig. 3.] [Fig. 4.] [Fig. 5.] [Fig. 6.]12 13
changing societal attitudes and emerging lifestyles. The Lab, inspired by those aspects that happen globally, works on ways to confront them with local and specific solutions. They believe that the more they “The global condition demands focus for getting solutions, the more qualities the project will have for helping on other cases of the same issue. The specialists of Droog consider those global issues as emerging possibilities of new realities culturally, politically, socially and to come, and that can improve design on a global level . The concerns of Droog Lab on studying international contexts make environmentally conscious design – them travel to specific localities for going deep on research. Also, an important aspect of Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen is that, in order to get accurate input in other words, what the Lab considers for the collection of particularities of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Bremen, the documentation and observation were all done in the places of interest. Observing freely the life of people, paying attention relevant design. Included within this, to the small details as well as to the big picture, understanding how they do things and why they do them, showed itself as a great help on understanding the reality about others’ lives and their contexts. is the human dimension, with all One professional that defends that designers should work with markets that they are familiar with is Jurgen Bey. Having worked its subjectivity, notions of beauty with Droog and currently in Studio Makkink & Bey, the designer develops projects on architecture, interior and product design and has already projected for some parts of the world. He believes that and meaning, and desire for high joining professionals from various disciplines for working together can broaden the perspectives and the comprehension of the framework related to the projects. Experts from different areas and backgrounds quality experiences. together in a work of exchange during the design process, generate mixed and organic methods on bringing solutions for our equally hybrid and mutating world . This way, taking as inspiration Through its content and Methodology, the experiences showed on Bey’s projects, this research gets close to real world and takes in consideration heterogeneous input of information, from diverse natures, in order to have the most complete the Droog Lab will aim to produce understanding as possible. Like Spagat!, Sagmeister, Droog and Jurgen Bey, the concerns for globally relevant design.”  cultural, social and economic aspects are the basis for the stages of this research. The particularities found on Rio de Janeiro and in Bremen are taken in consideration and respected, each characteristic is considered possible start-ups for new possibilities on research. Though the projects cited before were the main reference for Global Design: an intercultural14 15
analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen, some differences The two pictures on the left exemplify a design project made for global contexts. will appear when considering the methods of research adopted. “Pool interprets the Basin as a new typology; When compared to Droog Lab, for example, that uses as start up for Pool is squared, metallic, refuses the idea of a conventional basin which is pre-visualized in the its projects the issues that affect, at the same time, distinct places of standard baths, and in that way behind its own the world, on this work the first step was selecting the contexts for limits can be easily placed in exteriors, offices, ateliers, bars and in public and private and in realizing the research. After choosing for the Brazilian and German mostly any context, and also due to its inherent cities, the focus was on putting in practice methods of research qualities and its white color, in contemporary bath ambiances.”  that would help on gathering and organizing the documentation and providing resources for analysis and the generation of insights for future projects. Like the project Spagat! the documentation and analysis are the moments for providing the ones that are reading this work with the necessary tools for getting their own impressions and making, together with the schemes and stories on the book, their own analysis on this cross-cultural research. In addition to documenting and analyzing aspects of the German and Brazilian culture, this project organized design experiences with actions of culture exchange. The challenge, in this case, is to promote [Fig. 7.] [Fig. 8.] learning experiences about other realities while keeping the respect protocols that give people instructions of actions, for them to develop for the original particularities of both contexts. Martí Guixé is part their products on the way it best fits the environment they belong. Even of a group of professionals that regards for cultural aspects while when making objects, he puts the function in first place and aspects like producing for distinct markets. Guixé prefers to work with systems and shape and colors go to its minimalistic representation, since they can be cultural barriers for broaden coverage on the global market .“Experiment, doubt and a hodgepodge Differently from the other professionals, Martí Guixé keeps distance from the physical aspects of the projects and tends to go deeper on research of systems and instructions, leaving for the ones that areway of thinking are crucial to disclose using them to make any cultural or aesthetic adaptation. The methods adopted by Guixé represent one possibility on design production that helps on keeping the respect for cultural and social differences thathidden values and stories. happen on distinct contexts and markets. Instead of making a product that would be specific for one environment, he leaves some aspects open, so it can be used by a broader audience.This new potential unlocks all the When comparing designers that work with global contexts on their projects, it is possible to notice that they have particular methods. Onepossible qualities to constitute new important aspect defended on this research is that regardless of the focus or methods, if a designer works developing new physical objects and systems or more iconographic and design research, the respect forcultural bearers.”16  different realities and cultural identities must remain. 17
1.2 Interview with is the capability of products, physical or not, to absorb errors and still, be able to be adapted . Considering that they are made for human Martí Guixé beings and for being used in a world that the unexpected can always happen, do you plan a certain level of flexibility for your products? Martí Guixé.: Of course, on all the projects I have done, every time the result is completely different. People do different things, completely One of the main interests of Global Design: an intercultural analysis unexpected things and if you work more on systems or platforms of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen was generating experiences you can’t know what will happen. So it is something that you already for promoting cross-cultural learning between Germans of the city of incorporate in the final result, considering that my product is a system Bremen and Brazilians from Rio de Janeiro. The idea was organizing for it will produce different results. the ‘Cariocas’, people from Rio, the opportunity to experience aspects of the daily life of ‘Bremers’ and at the same time, to observe how the I also use tools and with those tools you don’t know what people ‘Bremers’ would feel like about living a little bit of the lifestyle of the will do, they can destroy something, they can do something, but my ones from Brazil. For sketching those ideas and putting it in practice, product is not the thing that they do, but the tool. It can be a platform, [Fig. 9.] “Adhesive tape with golden frame pattern, some methods were utilized. During the whole process there was a system, or a protocol. enabling you to rapidly set up a personal special attention to the learning output — the experiments were museum” , the ‘Do Frame’ is a project of Martí Guixé for Droog. supposed to be valuable not just for this research, but also for the life T.: So would you say that it would be 100% ‘error-friendly’? of people involved on it. M.G.: No, because error has probably this idea of good and bad. And For a broader input on multicultural creative process before the error, why would it be an error? It is not really an error. If you have a implementation of experiments, an interview was conducted with wall for which you allow people to write things, you can’t say: “Oh! It’s Marti Guixé. The encounter was an opportunity to ask Guixé — an an error!” If someone was writing unfavorable things about a brand, important reference in design for global issues — about his methods why is this an error? of research and processes of working, on how to work with projects that circulate around the world and still, keep the respect to the QUESTION 2 particularities to different cultures. T.: On your projects you express concern on changing the way people First Part think about their habits, and on the relation they have with the objects of everyday life. Raising questions and provocation by making them The first questions of the interview with Martí Guixé are related to reflect about their perspective of life. relevant topics to the research like flexibility on design products and respect to cultural particularities on projects. During the research for this work, locals where observed while moving“Referring to the design of socio-technical around on streets, they were commuting, vending, having fun or eating.systems, the concept of error-friendliness tells us QUESTION 1 For people that are commuting or vending timing must be fast and iftwo fundamental things. The first one is that it isnecessary to accept the idea that each material any unforeseen thing happens they have to quickly find a solution forand human fact implies the manifestation of Thamya: While developing your projects, do you consider the possibility it. It there is a car accident and the traffic jam starts, they start walkingerrors, and that it is necessary to act accordingto this. (…) of errors on the final product? Specially when it is on market and in use? or order quickly a motorcycle taxi for continuing their way. If there is riskThe second is that it is necessary to see in the of flood they have to go to work or leave it before the rain starts to geterrors a constitutive mark of the quality system,meaning its flexibility and its capacity to be There is an Italian designer, Ezio Manzinni, that argues that an strong. Street vendors have also to be connected to costumers necessitiesrenewed.”  important aspect to design projects would be ‘error-friendliness’ that and local trends. If celebrities of the soap operas start to use orange18 19
earrings instead of hair ties, they have to quickly change their goods. If it starts to rain, people at the streets won’t buy anything else but umbrellas. With industrial production, it is rare to have the possibility of such spontaneity during the process of designing. Considering that on your products it’s possible to notice the concerns of being contemporary and innovative and that them usually demand some new ways of interaction or perception for use, how do you measure or determine the acceptance of the market? Do you have this concern? [Fig. 12.] [Fig. 13.] [Fig. 14.] ‘Rikimbili’ is a bicycle adapted with gasoline M.G.: No it is difficult to follow. For example, in shops you can follow it QUESTION 3 pump water resulting on fumigation devices or gasoline engines chainsaw. Those pictures are because afterward people tell you about what happens. More than that, part of the research done by Ernesto Oroza in considering products, it’s difficult to do. Well, once, when I made the T.: On this research, while documenting the daily lives of people in Cuba.  ‘Do Frame’ tape for Droog, somebody found a car that had the window Rio de Janeiro and Bremen it was possible to realize that, after some broken and repaired with the tape around it, this person sent me a research, there was much more volume of material collected from Brazil picture of it. This is an example, but it’s very difficult to know what they then from Germany. I noticed that it was, in some way, proportional will do. For me it makes no sense to follow it. to the amount of problems that the people have to deal on their daily lives. In Rio the government can’t afford to keep the minimum T.: On your process of creation you try to be free from the physical aspects conditions to people like housing, education and security. This situationOn the images below, some examples of thecreativity of the street vendors of Rio de janeiro. of products. You prefer results that are based on platforms and systems. forces people to search for alternative solutions on their own for beingSince 2009 the plastic buckets turned into a hype How do you deal with technological aspects on your creation process? able to live their lives.need on the tables of the ‘Cariocas’, not just usedas a cleaning tool, the bucket means ‘cold beer’ inRio de Janeiro. M.G.: I am very interested in technology. My work is not about On your working process, do you observe society? Do you take inCorn husks are the default napkins used foreating the Korn prepared by the street vendors. technology, but it is related to information technology. If I work with consideration people’s daily lives and the problems they usually have toNovelty on the Summer of 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, open systems and platforms it is because I am fascinated about face? Does it has any relevance on your work?the plastic swimming pools for kids were rentedand sold by vendors to refresh the ones sitting on internet and all this platforms and systems, in a way that I try to usethe hot sand under the sun on a 45°C weather. them in my work. M.G.: I agree that if you visit societies that haven’t been very [Fig. 10.] [Fig. 11.] industrialized, somehow they don’t have things. I spent some time in Cuba and worked there with Ernesto Oroza. They don’t have things, they are used to mixing. If they need a motor for something they will re-appropriate a bicycle motor for another purpose [Figs. 12, 13 and 14]. It is somehow very ecological and also interesting. Of course that I can imagine that in Germany it doesn’t happen like that. I think that the role of art in problem-making is very interesting for those countries, making people think about everything. Art would be very important for provocation, but I can imagine that in other places like Brazil, art is more dissipated between the thousands of things that people are doing.20 21
Second Part OUTCOME OF THE INTERVIEW On this part of the interview Guixé commented about the material The conversation with Martí Guixé enlightened some new perspectives documented and the analysis done for Global Design: an intercultural considering research methods on design and on the identification of analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen. new possibilities for the development of design experiences. Some valuable considerations for the Implementation stage of the work Considering the documented material for the Vending topic, he made were highlighted during the interview. Especially when considering an observation about the German ‘Sperrmüll’, things that people want the experiments that would be done in both cities, some new aspects to get rid of and leave for the garbage collectors: proved valuable and were taken in consideration for improving the results of the intercultural experience. M.G.: In Barcelona people also leave at the streets the old furniture that they don’t want anymore, and there are the ones that collect it. After the interview, some insights proved themselves valuable for There were times that people were collecting things and even got being part of the content related to Vending. For testing aspects of the collector’s pieces in the garbage. There were people from France that everyday live of Rio in Bremen, it would be interesting to bring up things were traveling to Barcelona and they could even collect pieces from that Germans are not used to, for them to experience on the public the seventies. spaces. One example would be the spontaneity and the impromptu that are usual on the daily lives of Brazilians. Breaking the rhythm that Comments done about the project itself: the German people are used to and inserting new elements to it would certainly caught people attention. M.G.: I think that you can discover much from that way, seeing Germany from your Brazilian perspective and not just seeing Brazil from Guixé commented that on the everyday life of big cities, especially the a German perspective. Seeing from outside allow you to discover many ones in the developing world, art ends up dissipating itself between things. I think that it is important to think about attitudes more than everything that happens on people’s lives. Following this idea, for about objects, why do they do what they do and, in what conditions making the ‘Cariocas’ disconnect for one moment from the stress of the they do it. From this attitude, you can develop things. big city and forget about being regularly exposed to violence and other urban issues, the intention was to bring the joy and the tranquility that In Germany, you will never find Italian food, but the interpretation ‘Bremers’ live every day while moving around the city. This way, making of Italian food, which is what Germans like. It has to do with the them change their habits for some moments would force them, at interpretation, which is what matters. If you find those things, you can some point, to stop and think about their situation and how they lead come up with a lot of possibilities. their lives. Like art, depending on the context, design has distinct relevance on people’s lives. The understanding of those existing differences was an important learning aspect for this research. For the experiments developed on each city, it became clear that the approach and the design methods utilized for developing the experiments would have to be adapted to each case. This way, with differentiated strategies, the response given by those people involved on the actions turned into valuable information about their own cultural reality and also on their comprehension considering other contexts.22 23
1.3 Thesis Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen explores the lifestyle and the relation between man and design on the streets of the Brazilian and German cities. Following the three main aspects of research that were observed on the urban scenario of both cities — Food, Vending and Mobility — pictures, impressions and sketches were joined together for better visualizing and understanding them. The research turns up itself as a guide that can be followed by its stories and experiments, providing contextualization to foreign eyes and new insights for future projects on design. The three topics were chosen because of their potential on revealing social and cultural aspects of diferent contexts. Food, when discussed in global circumstances, inevitably brings up a lot of preconceptions and cliches. If people don’t travel to a city the only information that one can get about the food of this place is from third part, what others saw and what they thought about the food. Vending shows the borderline world of the cities, it is one important index on the social and economic problems that a place can have, since it is characterized by the ones that cannot be part of the regularized labor market but still need to find a way to earn some money. The rhythm of the streets is given by the transport systems and the urban planning of it. In Mobility, the public transportation and the aspects they have to deal with when moving around will be detailed and expose other peculiarities about Germany and Brazil. On the book, the Documentation joins a collection of images and texts that put in evidence the characteristics and representative particularities from the cities. The scenes were documented on the streets of the German and Brazilian cities and they explore social, economic and cultural aspects of them. Together with texts and testimonials, those images are organized in visual narratives guiding people on their curiosity and interest to better comprehension of those contexts.24 25
The Analysis organizes material for enriching the first impression acquired with the documentation phase promoting a better comprehension of the aspects in question for cities of Rio de Janeiro and Bremen. The discussions and insights that this part of the research brings are the fuel to the next step, the Implementation. Differently from other studies that stop on organizing and exposing the gathered material and providing inspirational research or trends, this project goes further. It uses design resources for testing and projecting the ideas that were generated based on the pictures and visual stories showed on the documentation stage. It experiments, through field actions, the ideas and possibilities aiming the generation of insights and discussions on global contexts. The field actions promote the exchange of cultures and bring small pieces of the everyday lives of one culture to the other, broadening the experience of all parts involved. Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen aims to question the comprehension of what it means to live in a world that is global and what would be the role of design on it. It doesn’t aim a global product outcome, but preferably, experiencing design methods that would generate provocation and discussion for this research and futures ones. This way, differently from designers that work for the market like Martí Guixé, and keep after or not. Their goal is to make a broader audience to rethink about their the realization of projects some distance from the people that buy ideas and preconceptions on the relation they have with the physical their products (interview on section 1.2) this project aims the contact world around them . and understanding of the ones that usually buy and use design even if in an ubiquitous way. The main interest is on people from different This atmosphere of question and reflection is what Global Design: an cultures and their relation with the designed world around them. intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro and Bremen research This way, for the Implementation part of this work, it will be planned intends to generate on the experiments. The actions proposed for one experiment for each theme of the research — Food, Vending and the aspects researched on the three topics selected — Food, Vending Mobility — and those experiments will consist on actions that will and Mobility — will bring the reflexion on our habits and our relation promote possible ideas, projects and dicussions. The feedback that with the designed world around us through the comparison between those people will give concerning the experiments contain important cultural differences that exist on the actual global world. information about not just their impressions on other cultures, but“Critical Design uses speculative design proposalsto challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions about their comprehension of their own live. The documentation will show, for example on the Food theme, whatand givens about the role products play in people from both cities eat while spending time at the streets, theeveryday life. It is more of an attitude thananything else, a position rather than a method. Interested to question the relation that people have with the objects type of food, and how they do it when moving around. Through the that surround them on their everyday life, Dunne & Raby are designers sequence of images it is also possible to see how some types of foodMainly to make us think. But also raising that try, with their products, to confront people with a new tangible are prepared, in which kind of places they are sold and how they areawareness, exposing assumptions, provokingaction, sparking debate, even entertaining in an reality. The duo follows the principles of what they name ‘Critical eaten. On Mobility, the research shown provides the familiarizationintellectual sort of way, like literature or film.”  Design’ and the pieces, designed by them, generate situations of doubt, with the transportation, the urban scenario and how people commute provoking people to ask themselves if those objects are for being used on both cities. On the last topic, the Vending section, pictures of the26 27
ones that work by themselves and try to make some money on the challenge to make the ‘Cariocas’ forget about the urban problems of streets of Rio and Bremen will be detailed. Together with the pictures Rio, but it is worth a try. there will be excerpts of what was said by the ones interviewed on the streets, as well as some text from literature and from other designers Global Design: an intercultural analysis of street life in Rio de Janeiro that are references on this work, all elements together to give a and Bremen presents a detailed research on two different cultures broader input about the lifestyle of both cities. inserted on a global market. Through visual narratives together with texts and testimonials, this guide will familiarize designers and other After gathering the material for the documentation, some aspects professionals with the habits of the people that circulate around the present on each context were highlighted. From Food, Vending, and streets of the Brazilian and German cities. Following design methods Mobility, the habits and matters that most characterize each city of research and of projecting, the material organized presents the on the three themes were selected for analysis. Sketches, diagrams, particularities of two different contexts and through good humor and and pictures, together with a detailed work of synthesis, enable sharp analysis, generate more insights and project possibilities. understanding on the issues exposed, raise questions, and give new perspectives on the cases from Rio and the ones from Bremen. With the analysis made, it was possible to identify some possible directions for further development and insights that are strong enough to be structured and projected into other reality. On Food, taking in consideration that in the streets of Rio it is possible to find types of food that are totally different from the ones in Germany the idea was to cook those specialties and serve to people from Bremen that have never tasted it before. Without explaining anything about the flavor or how to eat it, a lunch was organized for a group of people to taste the Brazilian specialties and discover by themselves the details about it. What would be their impressions? How would they recept the experiment and the new information about a differet culture? Street vending is a characteristic that is on the DNA of the streets of Rio. Everywhere you go, if you are walking on the streets, in the car or inside buses there will be someone selling something. Sometimes it can be very providential things and ‘Cariocas’ already count on those people for some situations. What if the city of Bremen could also experiment some improvise and enjoy the benefits of the ones offering solutions to the most spontaneous wishes of people that are walking on the streets? This will be the challenge for the topic of Vending. While moving around Bremen there are almost no stress on the streets, the transport system works quite well, the urban structure is just great and there are no worries about violence. For Mobility the experience was to bring a little bit of the relaxed, and sometimes, playful lifestyle of ‘Bremers’ to the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is quite a28 29
2.1 FoodOn daily lives of the ones that usually circulate on the streets,there are certainly moments where they stop for eating or drinkingsomething. On the morning, afternoon or night, it’s common to seepeople having breakfast, coffee or eating some finger-food on theirway to work, home or just moving somewhere. It’s possible to imaginethat in different places of the world it works quite the same. But,when comparing issues related to food between cities from differentcountries, what could then be specific of each place?The food itself would be the first particularity to show specific aspectsthat are especial from certain cities. What people eat is an importantcharacteristic of cultures and together with the rituals related to it,it turns into a good way of better understanding different social andcultural realities. One challenge about this cultural aspect is dealingwith the preconceptions and cliches that are inside people’s mind. Mostof the ideas of what and how other cultures eat come from third partand even without tasting or getting accurate information it seems easyto have opinion about them.What would be possible to learn from those misunderstandings thatexist when considering different contexts and their food? On thefollowing pages, this work presents a visual documentation of thesnacks, finger food and other preferences of people on the streets ofBremen and Rio de Janeiro. An analysis on the particularities of somepopular types of food are made and some observations ended up beingimportant aspects of the next step, the Implementation.For extending the research, some types of food that are usually seenon the streets of one city were chosen and made for people from othercontext. With the cross-cultural experience it is possible to observewhich reactions and impressions the participants have as well as thenew rituals they developed for eating the “unknown” food.
2.1.1 Rio de JaneiroDocumentationThe food on the streets of RioWhile walking on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, it is possible to see a widerange of food options for ordering and eating on the run. Together withall types of small bars, juice shops, cafes and bakeries that serve diversetypes of finger-food and fast-food to go or to eat at the balcony, there arestreet vendors on the streets that sell anything from beverages to fruits.The common type of salty food that is possible to find in every foodwindow of the bars on the city is called: ‘salgadinho’. It is a typicalfinger food that you can eat everywhere while moving around the city.There are different types, which basically consist of a filling surroundedby dough. Depending on the shape and type of dough, ‘salgadinhos’have different names. They are usually eaten with the hands and withcatchup, mustard and pepper sauce.The ‘Cariocas’ also like to stop on bakeries for drinking coffee — usuallystrong and short or with milk — with simple bread, sandwiches orsweets. The bakeries in Rio sell the usual fresh bread with coffee, butalso warm sandwiches, meals, cakes, fresh juices and lots of sweetsmade on their own kitchen.At bars and bakeries it is also possible to find pizzas, hamburgers,french fries and other fast-food that is more international. Some timesthere are bars that sell only those kinds of foods, but somehow, theyare not majority.Other common option is satisfying the will for eating with the goodsthat the street vendors offer. On specific points of city or just movingaround the streets those people sell candies, beverages, finger-foodand even fast-food. In Rio, the offer of things to eat at the streets seemunlimited, the customer just has to choose. 35
The juice bars are everywhere on Rio de Janeiroand offer all types of juices, sandwiches and‘salgadinhos’.
‘Salgadinhos’ windows: you just need to look andchoose the one that fits your hunger the best.Sometimes it is good to ask if they are fresh.
The ‘empadas’ with chicken filling must havean olive inside.
Waiter, please bring me quicklyGood coffee with milk thatisn’t warmed-over,Bread with butter really hot,A napkin and a glass of very cold water.Close the door on the right very carefullyBecause I am not willingto be exposed to the sun.Go ask the customer by our sideWhat was the outcome of ‘Cariocas’ have no idea how spoiled they are. As most bakeries have ‘old school’ manual coffeethe soccer match.  machines, customers usually order the coffee by color: light, dark, medium, more dark than light and so on.52 53
Sugar cane juice is very popular downtown. It ismade with a special machine that presses thecane extracting the juice out of it.54 55
Where are you going to take those pictures? Germany? Don’t they have this there?‘Pastel’ being prepared in frontof the customers.56 57
Analysis Food in Rio, the ‘salgadinhos’ typology The most characteristic food that can be found on the streets of Rio de Janeiro is, with no margin of doubt, the ‘salgadinhos’. Differently from others fast-food options that have foreign origin or are well known worldwide, the Brazilian finger food is quite exclusive. As there are many types of ‘salgadinhos’ this analysis describes the main concept of this food dissecting some examples of it. Most of the ‘salgadinhos’, have geometric forms — they are supposed to hold the filling and normally have a format that make it possible to eat them with the hands. The size is generally determined by those conditions. The same kind of ‘salgadinho’ can be made with different types of fillings. Some food shops are specialised in ‘empadas’ or ‘pasteis’ and so on. What is interesting is that with one type of filling, you can make more than one type of salgadinho, it’s only necessary to change the dough. Each one has a different dough-making process — some are quite simple and others take more time. The ‘bolinho’, is a polemic ‘salgadinho’. Jokes usually come when people eat it, such as “Oh, ‘bolinho’? What did you have for dinner yesterday?”. Because of the way the filling inside is mixed with the dough, it looks like it was made with yesterday’s leftovers. The ‘salgadinhos’ are quite popular in the city and satisfy everyone and every pocket. They are usually sold on combos with juice and it’s possible to see people eating them for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.60 61
2.1.2 BremenDocumentationFood you find in the streets of BremenIn the streets of Bremen most of the shops where it is possible to stopand grab quickly something to eat are fast-food bars and bakeries.The last ones are quite popular in Bremen and, from morning to noon,there are always people stopping by and ordering. The customers justhave to chose the bread or sandwiches they want to take and wait forthe coffee from the machine.The bars that sell fast food are quite popular and sell different typesof food. Some are specialized in Turkish food and sell ‘Döners’, ‘rollos’and ‘falafel’. There are the ones that just sell pizzas or hamburgers andthe ones that sell the German specialty, the ‘Bratwurst’. In some casesthere are the bars that try to satisfy all the customers and offer from‘Döner’ to pizza and ‘Bratwurst’.Among the fast-food examples, there is one that is quite particularfrom Bremen, the ‘Bremer’, that is a kind of fish burger. The ‘Bratwurst’is a long sausage, usually eaten together with a small bread that is 1/3the size of the sausage, and the one that seems to be the most popular,the ‘Döner’ is a sandwich of meat cut in very small pieces togetherwith sauce and salad inside a bread. 67
At Bremen’s main station it is possible to findfast-food from all around the world.
The ‘Döner’ places start the day with the meat spitfull, at night it is possible to see the difference. French-fries are very popular in Germany. ‘Kiosks’ (the bars located on the streets) usually sell them with ketchup and mustard.
There are ‘Kiosks’ selling the German ‘Bratwurst’everywhere on Bremen. 75
There are a lot of different systems for adding ketchup and mustard on the Bratwurst and Sandwiches. This one imitates the process of milking cows.76
Take a picture! Take a picture of all this food here, I cooked everything! At this bar it’s possible to buy ‘Döner’ and meals and it has a window open to the street, so customers can order from outside.80
Döner Bar I will hold this big knife for your picture! ‘Te amo!’ 83
One ‘Döner’ will never be like the other. This sandwich usually vary according to the bar.‘Döner’ Bar 85
Also sold on the ‘Döner’ bars: “Börek with spinach, goat cheese or meat. Small: 1,00€ Big: 2,00€”.86
Sweets on foreground and the famous Germanbreads on background on this typical bakery. 89
“Whereas in the Ford economy, the masses were served by many people working to make one, uniform product, in the Starbucks economy, the masses are served by few people working to make thousands of customized, personalized products.” 92
Analysis Food in Bremen, you have to look inside the bread Comparing the types of food found while moving around the streets of Bremen, it is possible to notice that the street food of the city consists basically of a piece of bread cut in the middle and filling. Even with different names — ‘Döner’, ‘Bremer’, ‘Rollo’, hot-dog, ‘Falafel’, sandwich and hamburger — they all follow the same principle that is bread with filling. The filling, most of the time, must be a protein: meat, fish, chicken, or cheese. Salad can be found in some cases, from one slice of lettuce to a sizable salad with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, or other vegetables. The type of bread usually varies and can significantly change the aspect of the food like, for example, the rollo that its super thin bread remembers a pancake and after the filling is inside it’s rolled until it gets a cylinder form. The most popular type of bread used is a small salty white bread, although different types of Turkish bread, Italian ‘ciabatta’ and different types of German whole-grain breads are also very popular.94 95
2.1.3 Implementation The experiment In Rio, people are used to eating ‘salgadinhos’ on their way to work, home and on lunch break. This typical Brazilian food is quite different from the food you find on the streets of Bremen. The size, the textures From Rio de Janeiro to Bremen: and the flavors have almost no equivalent in Germany. ‘salgadinhos’ Would people from Bremen like this type of food? How would they react when eating and tasting it? To answer those questions, a lunch was prepared with two types of Location ‘salgadinhos’ and it was served to a group of Germans that never tasted them before. The ones selected to try the food sat down at a Bremen, Germany. The event was realized at Café Lu, the student’s table with just the food itself. At a separate table, there were dishes, cafeteria located at the University of Arts of Bremen. cutlery, napkins, sauces, salad, bread and juice. This second table had things that people from Rio usually use while eating the ‘salgadinhos’, participants but also things they do not use, things that Germans might like to use or eat together with this ‘new’ food. Number of people involved: six Nothing was said before people got their first look at the food, nothing Nationality: Germans about the flavor nor about how to eat it. Before starting the process, they have already given some opinions based solely on the appearance. Occupation: students Age: between 21 and 29 years old They look like something sweet, maybe Short description The participants were asked to give their impressions about a specific type of Brazilian food, popular in Rio de Janeiro. Observation because of the paper. Only people that were never in Brazil and didn’t know its typical food It could be a meat pie. joined the experiment.98 99
‘Empada’ It looks like ‘Polenta’ and it’s probably red inside. Looks like it’s fried but I’m not sure if it’s salty or sweet, it looks like it has sugar around.It looks dry and it seems that it has cheeseand ham inside.They look like Turkish sweets. ‘Coxinha’
After some bites:The filling of the ‘empada’ is chicken?Really? I thought it was fish!106 107
Question: Which way would be better to eat? How do youthink people eat it in Brazil?They are probably sold on the streets, withsmall carts that they push by hand or evenholding trays on their shoulders.It is better to eat both with the hands.Don’t take the ‘empada’ out of the form! 109
The salad irritated me, somehow itI can’t imagine how they would eat it doesn’t belong.walking fast on the streets, without sauce. Q.: How much do you think it would cost?With the bread it would be possible to eatwith the salad. The ‘coxinha’ is cheap, because it is fried. The ‘empada’ can be more expensive because it has butter. ‘Coxinha’: 3 for 2,00€. ‘Empada’: 1,00€, not more than that! Not that cheap, because of the time and work it probably demands.110 111
It was interesting to see that they started eating the two ‘salgadinhos’ in a way that Brazilians don’t usually do — in a plate with salad. After The Outcome eating some units, they concluded that it would be better to eat it just with their hands, adding sauces sometimes (just like people from Rio!). The people involved with the experiment were engaged and quite confortable on tasting and testing all possible ways to eat the Other curious thing is that the bread was also proposed as a side, and Brazilian food. Before the degustation, the impression they had on the nobody touched it. One of the reasons why the bread was put there appearence of the food brought references of Turkish, Spanish, French is because in Southern Brazil, a region known for its large number of and Indian food. Some specialities remembered were: ‘jalapeños’, the people of German descent, people put the ‘salgadinhos’ inside bread French ‘patisserie’ and ‘samosas’ (see pictures on the following page). to eat them. This way, there was some expectation that they would at least try to eat the bread with the food. On the contrary, the only At the start of the ritual they ate the ‘coxinhas’ and ‘empadas’ in totally reference made to the bread was in the end, when one of the invited different ways when compared with people from Rio de Janeiro. During people said the bread could be a good idea because then she would the experiment they ate some units of both types of ‘salgadinhos’ and have been able to add the salad and the ‘salgadinho’ inside, eating all tested different ways of eating them: with or without sauce and salad, together. using cutlery or not, and so on. In the end, they came up with opnions on how the ‘Cariocas’ would eat the food that was presented. Most of them guessed exactly how the food was prepared and eaten in Brazil.In Germany you will never find Italian They have even chosen the coxinha as the favorite of both, just like the ‘Cariocas’.food, but the interpretation of Italian Some of the observations were the following:food, and that is what Germans like. This food is more like popular food, itIt has to do with interpretation, shouldn’t be expensive.this interpretation is what matters.[interview on section 1.2] It’s probably eaten at streets, bought in simple bars or with vendors selling them on small cars.112 113
They don’t eat it with salad and they eat ‘Samosas’it with the hands. With the end of the experiment the participants could learn about the kind of food and eating rituals that people from Rio have while on their busy daily lives. They could certainly add this experience to their knowledge on others global references. ‘Jalapeños’ The participants were an important contribution for the research. [Above: Fig. 15., below: Fig. 16.] Through them it was possible to document opinions and reactions of Germans about a new eating experience and dealing with new rituals, textures and flavors. In general, they were interested in understanding how people in Rio eat the food they were tasting, and while eating, it was possible to notice that they were testing ways to be comfortable and enjoy the food. The process was probably the same, when the participants tried the international references that they mentioned during the experiment — the ‘samosas’, ‘jalapeños’ and the French ‘patisserie’. More important than giving previous knowledge about what the food is or how to eat it, analyzing the experiment it seemed necessary to create a comfortable atmosphere for the testers, offering some things that they are already used to, and make a comfortable start-up. This [Fig. 19.] cozy atmosphere made them open to experience new contexts and [Fig. 17.] [Fig. 18.] understand foreign realities by their own. ‘Samosas’ and other types of fried finger-food ‘Patisserie’114 115
2.2 VendingThe streets can be a very attractive environment for the ones that needto make money and find on non-regulated work, possibilities of earningtheir income. With a constant movement of people of all social classesand backgrounds, the public spaces have potential clients of all typesand offer the most diverse opportunities during most part of the day.On the next section the diverse vending activities usually seen on thecities of Bremen and Rio de Janeiro are detailed. At a first moment, inthe documentation section, the alternatives developed on the streets ofthe cities are exposed on its diversity. In the Analysis some special caseswere chosen and detailed on its methods of work or types of goods.Those people that work on the streets shows us important economic,social and cultural aspects of their cities. Exploring those aspects canprovide a better comprehension about the vendors, the collectorsand so on, together with the customers and their relation with theenvironment. On activities like selling goods on the streets, the vendorshave direct contact with a great number of clients every day. They haveto understand the necessities of those people as well as to developgood selling techniques for the amount of sold products that they haveto achieve every day. Otherwise, they have no money to take home.In the end of this chapter — the Implementation section — onepossible way, among many others, of exploring some aspects of the“street vending wisdom” will be tested.
2.1.1 Rio de JaneiroDocumentationVending activities on the streets of RioWhile walking on the streets of Rio, you can see people selling all kindsof things. Is it starting to rain? Look around and you will easily findsomeone selling umbrellas. Is there a two-hour line to enter the soccerstadium? Relax, buy a beer with the guy selling beverages next to youand maybe also a new flag of your team.On the streets, the vendors usually sell accessories and clothing itemslike belts, earrings, watches, glasses, leggings and so on. Objects forhome — such as dishtowels, brooms, plungers and other small itemsfor kitchen and bathroom — are also sold. Small electronics, pirate CDs,toys and kitschy objects are also sold by vendors and, like the others, canbe sold on the sideways or among the cars stopped on traffic jams.Food is a popular good sold by street vendors. Home made cakes,sweets, snacks or industrialized candies and beverages can be seeneverywhere. Usually on self made small cars, or in boxes hold by hands,but sometimes in small trucks and pickups that announce the productwith loud speakers.The beach is also a point where lots of vendors sell goods. From fruitsto hamburgers the vendors carry Styrofoam boxes, personalizedcontainers, or even Tupperware and baking trays. Sharing the clientsthat are at the beach enjoying their leisure time, there are also the onesthat sell bikinis, skirts, accessories and toys.Every place seems to be a potential point for vendors to sell theirproducts. Restrictions for the goods to be sold and the techniques ofselling seem to be nonexistent, there are also no limits for creativity andinvention on street vending. 119
Man selling vultures , the mascot of Flamengo, the popular Brazilian soccer team. A perfect Sunday for ‘Cariocas’ is when they go to thebeach and, afterwards, to the soccer stadium to watch a match.
Man selling bikini tops, the strapless kind thatleave no tanning lines. 123