Biomateriality Bridging Design and the Community
Authors: Gabriela Forman, Michele Santos, Pedro Ferreira, Andrea Bandoni
Abstract: The current environmental crisis is turning designers to the development of new biodegradable materials, that are produced through clean processes: the biomaterials. They present not only alternatives to existing materials, but actually an opportunity to reflect upon new materialities that indicate different ways of consuming and living to their users. In order to be massively adopted and lead change, biomaterials need to be validated and possibly co-created with real communities. Complemented by a literature review and by two surveys, one directed to rapid prototyping facilities’ coordinators/founders, and another with a focus on citizens from Portugal, this research explores how biomaterials can connect Design and their surrounding communities. A deeper understanding of related dynamics and how the democratization of Design processes unfolds and is perceived is key to effective communication and implementation of holism-focused methodologies. Additionally, this study highlights aspects such as the role or the empowerment of the community through the search for solutions and activism.
Keywords: Circular Economy, Biobased Materials, Design Education, Design Practice, Design Strategies
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