CADA is a local Project aiming at a global and viral effect. It is a Fair Trade proposal using design and crafts from a local perspective to achieve a global process
This perspective perceives technology and the Social media essential as an integral part of a project developed within the context of the 21st century. For this purpose, CADA proposes a communal ethical process towards creating a platform that will eventually become a Hybrid Shared Space for exchanging knowledge.
This platform will allow the documentation, and the sharing of sources, products, the design, the commerce, and the process through local sources that would all “weave” a net linked with/to all the levels that participate in the Project. CADA, thus, proposes “a process in which individual and collective-cooperative development go hand in hand, using production models based in the free circulation of knowledge and the creation of collective resources to achieve a distributed, cooperative and self-organized production based in non-exclusive evolutionary principles, as is the norm in popular culture.” (Barandiaran & Guiu, 2004)
The use of the very artifact as an articulator of the dialogue between artisans and facilitators allows including information for the research that would otherwise be very difficult to transmit.
“Cultural Artifacts are designed to be creative and inspirational. They consist in the appropriation of artifacts relevant to a group or culture and their deconstruction by a designer with the intention of discovering information traditionally overlooked by other research methods”.
(Ornelas & Gregory, 2011)
This research will be conducted in multiple phases; phase I for the ethnographic study, and in phases III and IV, the facilitators share with the artisans the artifacts creation process, inside the very community. This allows the integration in the artisan´s social and cultural context and, thus, the understanding, through their own experience, of the reasons for the form, the material, the function, and the links of the artifact to the community.
During phase II, Design Research, and phase III, Prototyping; the cultural artifacts and the prototypes will serve as research and evaluation channels. They will allow the communication between the cultural and traditional aspect and the part relating to the design of the new family of products.
In the proposed cases, the changes affect mainly the different communities that participate and are involved in the project. The results of the changes should affect both the design and the artisan creation process of a new family of products, and also the community participation in the creation of a structure for its development and commercialization. The virtual platform expands the participation so the process is kept alive from the net and generates changes and opportunities which can be proposed at the local level and can achieve a global reach.
During the initial phase, the team of facilitators meets and decides to base their work in the oral narrative as a means to approach the community through the artifact. The oral narrative is an intangible artifact, also considered as intangible cultural heritage.
Oral and artisan traditions have been, for centuries, the way to relay and keep alive the people´s culture, values and believes system. They have generated orientation patterns for possible conflicts resolution, originating also symbolic systems to provide order and meaning to the communities.
The artifacts and their production techniques, the stories, songs, and legends passed down from the elders to the younger people are a part of their learning and a way to perpetuate traditions from one generation to the next. Thus transforming them into a legacy, which is unique and differentiating among communities.
The workshops proposed through the oral narrative were used as an “intangible artifact”, where each different community will use drawings as an expression tool in which their traditions, legends and culture will be depicted. Observing how the drawings or some cases working directly on 3D with clay, the techniques, the elements each community uses, made possible to establish a language that will become the base for the development of the next phase
After the exercise of community approach through the oral narrative and its form of expression materialized in drawings and 3D artifacts, we have an analysis and selection of the materials together. The materials selected will be, during the prototyping phase, the articulating bonds in the dialogue with the artisan. It is important to stress that the artisans belong in the same community where each of the workshops took place, and therefore they share the same “ethos” bond with the community.
Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete, the more deeply it goes the less complete it is, “ turning culture into folklore and collecting it, turning into traits and counting it, turning into institutions and classifying into structures and toying with it…….It in reality they are scapes”
Elizabeth Hill Boone and her book “Their way of Writing. Scripts, signs and pictographies in Pre-Columbian America”. (Hilll Boone, 2011)
“The emphasis of artifact analysis on the object itself” Artifact analysis asks: what do objects have to say about people and their culture, time and place? The researcher is attempting to understand the substance of the object and what it says through its material, aesthetic and interactive qualities”. (Martin & Hanington, 2012) The research is focused on the design, through the design, and for the design, that is, the previous research is based in the historical, aesthetic, and perceptive part, since it is actually the reference material, the artifact, what provides the information.
The research done by means of the design is established by the design process itself, including the research in materials, the developed work, and the recording and communication of the stages, the experiments, and the design iterations; and the final objective of this research for the design is the creation of an new artifact that participates in the essence of the initial one, but with a new series of characteristics that allow it to adapt to the different conditions for which it is being developed, avoiding the part that links it exclusively to the place where it is produced.
One of the objectives of the use of this methodology is to enable the cultural and emotional values attached to the artifact to not be lost, but to share them with the facilitator so s/he in turn can transfer them to the new object.
The facilitators, and other professionals with experience in several different artisan techniques, analyze the creation process with the artisans of each community. The focal element for this dialogue is the cultural artifact itself. The methodology should be sustainable as much from the socio-cultural as the economic and environmental points of view, and also it must allow, in a permeable way, its adaptation to each of the artisan´s communities. The workshops will be documented as part of a methodological study applied to the cooperative design of objects linked to traditional culture.
The prototypes offer an answer based in the aesthetics, form, interaction, usefulness, and emotional content, and will serve as models to establish and develop the preparation techniques for the new family of products.
For the analysis of its commercialization, there will be a study of the market, the distribution routes, and the trade strategies at real points of sale as well as the e-commerce virtual platform. They should be the result of a design process participated by the artisans and the facilitators by establishing a dialogue about the use of the technique and its application to different materials.
The distribution and commercialization means of the designed products/artifacts will be specified during the phase. The study and definition of the commercial message, of the commercialization and of the market strategies will be developed from an informative point of view: the sales of the products should be backed by the knowledge of the origin and the evolution of the objects. The commercialization platforms should also be used to communicate the project’s inherent values and, ultimately, transmitted through the objects.
The documentation gathered along all the phases of CADA such as photographs, videos, and prototypes, among others, will be used for the project dissemination. The selected materials will be edited and the layout organized so they can be exhibited and the information circulated.
An itinerant documental exhibition should be proposed, besides round tables, seminars, papers, and workshops in the different academic institutions and local venues
The virtual platform our web CADA will be the permanent base for the circulation of information about the project, and at the same time, it will be used as a reference point for the project´s implantation in new locations. It is an open content that will allow the platform to grow, expand and change according to the users’ interaction, their contributions, modifications, and the addition of new connected replicated projects.
Being able to take part in the platform growth should generate a community enhancement at a global level from local and particular actions, and allow the platform to grow as if it were a living organism.
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