DESIGN IN TIMES OF CRISIS: ALGERINHA VIVE
Algerinha Vive is the story of a Brazilian slum whose population faces various forms of violence. The story is expressed through a variety of outlets, including a children’s game which retells the history of the settlement and a .gif that lays out its schematics, an audio tape containing a collection of soundscapes created by an artist from the place, and a timeline of the history of the Algerinha occupation. This design fiction, partly based on fact drawing inspiration from interviews of people and news reports in Brazil, explores the imaginaries of people that exist on the fringes of the modern world-system, disenfranchised populations, who while often the subject of dystopian futural fictions, have their experiences and views rarely represented in those fictions. Thus, Algerinha Vive attempts to recreate, both visually and aurally, the experiences of the dispossessed. In particular, the work demonstrates how the emphasis on the oral and aural plays an important role in creating these fictions as present and immediate, as opposed to so much of design which is based on the visual and verbal.
Pedro Oliveira and Luiza Prado are PhD Candidates in Design Research at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Oliveira and Prado are two halves of the team A Parede, a sandbox for the development of research and for ongoing projects that pertain to their doctoral investigations, texts they have produced on the development of situated methods for critical design, and other teaching activities. All of these share the same premise: to use design as a method for political literacy, and to inquire into the accountability of material practices in securing and perpetuating issues rooted in coloniality such as gender and sonic violence. Through our work they aim to encourage the use, misuse and abuse of design tools to speculate onpreferable, anti- and decolonial futures.