If you had a year to change something, what would you do?


My application to be part of the BMW Tate Live: Thought Workshops

"Who am I?"

I can best describe myself (hopefully not pompously) as a wandering communication designer and creative thinker. Currently I'm dedicated to the challenge of being a first year PhD student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, exploring the role of empathy in communication design for sustainability and social innovation.  Long story short; I am interested in how communication design can help foster a desirability of great sustainable lifestyles, where people happily engage in positive co-inhabiting with all living things of this world (and all the worlds in it).

"What do I want to change?"

'The Times They Are a-Changin' said Bob Dylan 50 years go, little did he know...  Change concerns me, and not, at the same time.  I welcome change.  However at the same time, I think some things shouldn't really change, they should be preserved.  Such as traditions.  I believe in conserving traditions for the intrinsic lifestyle qualities they own, particularly those of hand-making techniques, family-run commerce with decades of history, traditional production and farming methods... We should be concerned for their extinguishment through consequence of technology and demands of contemporary consumerism.  I propose to venture in a creative strategy that revives traditions and keeps them flourishing in the contemporary world, with the stories, the culture and values that we succeed to.  Can technology not work against, but work with instead?

"What can you learn from me?"

I am able to share what I have learned through my previous independent design practice, varied client projects and collaborations with other practitioners, working with sustainable development programme in Thailand, and culminating in PhD research.  I am affiliated with networks Designers Accord, Design and Emotion Society and The Hub.  I would say I can bring to the table, aside of communication design, concept development, strategy, engagement, interaction, group working.

"What stops me?"

I try not to think of what could stop me as a dead-end.  But rather as where my skills end, and where those of others begin - we really cannot achieve any significant change on our own!

"Where did I hear about the project?"

When I attended the Cultural Forum 2013 Global Citizenship at Tate Modern, I was handed the flyer and thought 'what a great question to be asked!'.  Little did I know, that I would be in this moment applying to answer it.

* images © 2013 Joana Casaca Lemos