Mark Project: Designers Travel to Brazil for a Hands-on Experience

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Mark has grown over the last year from a small research project into an independent mapping project for the favelas of Brazil. The next stage in this is expansion is to put our feet on-the-ground in Brazil and dive deep into our design context. Favelas are contradictory places: they defy definition and conventional wisdom. Our hope in designing with and for such a complex space is to be able to embed ourselves right in the middle of them.
With great thanks to Murally we are able to say that we are flying off to Sao Paulo today, to meet our new friends, interact with the community and immerse ourselves, as much as possible, in favela and Brazilian culture. Murally, is an online collaborative tool, like google docs for visual people, and with their help we have designed our project. By making use of this tool while we are engaged with field research in Brazil, we will be explore new ways that this platform can be used.
For the last month we have been reaching out and expanding our network of contacts in Brazil and it has had wonderful results; we are booked in to meet with Lead Developers in Heliopolis, speak at the University of Sao Paulo and visit Paraisopolis.

Our mapping project has always aimed to be a bottom-up design, and our trip to Sao Paulo is about trying to activate this element of the project. We will carry out interviews and workshops with favela inhabitants, service design firms, and technology companies. By tapping into such a wide array of perspectives on Brazilian design and community culture, we hope to start to generate a well-rounded perspective of the systems and cultures that exist in Brazil. We are meeting with academics, urban planners and developers to try and understand the government’s plans in favela upgrading and improvement. We are connecting with community organizations and NGOs whom are already working in the favela to reach the community directly, to learn best practices and to gain insight into intervention techniques. We want to build long lasting partnerships.

Thanks Mariano and the Mural.ly team for making it possible,
Let this journey begin!

Meg and James

Meg & James @ Mark