Design with the Other 90% Exhibit

by Lily Antflick

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES presented by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is currently on view at the United Nations.

I highly recommend checking it out as the exhibit presents innovative social and environmental design solutions to severe problems facing many poor and marginalized communities around the world. The exhibit displays the recent trend in the field of Design toward identifying urban global issues and alleviating them with the limited resources available.

A couple of case studies stood out pertaining to DIY practices, specifically, COOPA-ROCA which is an initiative in Rochina, Brazil, focused on activities with groups of women, generating a small production force aimed at developing decorative craftwork products by reviving traditional Brazilian craft techniques such as drawstring appliqué, crochet, knot work and patchwork. The Favela Painting project in Rio is also a unique DIY art project in which a Dutch Design Firm decided to brighten up a local slum by having community members paint it. The Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn started developing the idea of creating community-driven art interventions in Brazil in 2006. Their efforts yielded two murals which were painted in Rio’s most notorious slum, in collaboration with local youth. The artworks received widespread coverage and have become points of pride and gratification both in the community and throughout Rio.

Check out the entire exhibit on view at the UN until January 9, 2012 (it’s free!)


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