April 2019. Graduate thesis final exhibition prep (Pasadena, CA)
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collaborative identities of design explores the role design could play in breaking the traditional paradigms of social participation while working with existing systems of power to realign hierarchy and agency. Based in Mexico City, the work engages in the ethics of participatory design and more broadly collaborative practices that are led by designers.
The project uses the language of filmmaking to talk about authorship of creative practices. For instance, I created 16 new genres of participatory design such as participatory skate magic realism, urban romance, prototype public space action saga and co-directed documentary. These genres essentially aim to create a new language for a design practice that attempts to look more critically at the roles that each of the participants play, fluctuate between, transition into, and at times take over from the designer. Moments of my work were selected and superimposed with yellow subtitle-like text to create scenes. The creation of scenes emphasize the fact that these events were not a series of serendipitous happenings that I encountered in the city, but rather a deliberately designed series of performative play (I resonate a lot with the work of ASCO).
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I also started calling out some of the fundamental qualities of this practice, such as the actors, roles and tools that it involves, and pose design questions relative to those elements:
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What is the role of the designer and what do they expect from a collaborator?
I wanted to explore this question through hacking and subverting the conventions of job descriptions. Job descriptions demand that the person do something; my descriptions on the contrary are more keen to set up ground rules for a healthy and hopefully fun relationship that is based on the premise that there is mutual creative benefits. Forms of compensation vary as well as the duration of collaboration, ranging from a day to an year.