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BRAZIL – the cultural contemporary: craft, design and social change

This conference is the result of research undertaken in Brazil by curators in spring 2010 under the auspices of Forming Ideas

10 January 2011 - 4:13pm

Friday 21 January 2011, 10:00-17:00
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU
A FREE one-day conference followed by a networking reception

Pre-registration is essential:
Please email Julia Bunnage: or call +44 (0) 7909 963509 to secure a free place

Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a population of 201 million and a complex history and identity. This conference aims to inform a UK-based professional and academic audience working within visual culture about how contemporary practice, especially in the areas linked to craft and design, has developed and is developing in Brazil. Some of the questions discussed will be: what is the context and infrastructure? Who are the leading practitioners? What are the ideas and what are the issues that are shaping creative practice in Brazil today?

Chair and convenor: Martina Margetts, Senior Tutor, Critical & Historical Studies, Royal College of Art

Adélia Borges, the leading Brazilian design writer and curator, will give the keynote lecture on Brazilian contemporary craft and design and their context
Kiki Mazzuchelli, writer, curator and Brazilian PhD researcher (TrAIN/University of the Arts), will explore the influential legacy of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992), who integrated European modernist and Brazilian vernacular cultures in her architecture, design and projects
Frederico Duarte, Caloute Gulbenkian Foundation Scholar, will discuss social projects led by academics and practitioners, drawing on his extensive recent primary research in Brazil
Tristan Manco, designer and author of Graffiti Brasil, will analyse the relationship between street life and cultural development through graffiti and graphics.
Cristiana Tejo, coordinator of Education at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco and an independent curator based in Recife, north-eastern Brazil, will lecture on the artist Adriana Varejeo, renowned for her painted tile installations as a discourse on Brazilian postcolonial experience
Bronac Ferran, Senior Research Tutor in the department of Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and former Director of Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England, will focus on hi-tech creative projects in Brazil
Four MA students from the department of Design Products at the RCA - Maximilian Gubbins, Attua Apparacice, Sarah Colson, Alexander Groves – will give a presentation on their environmental design project with top designer Marcelo Rosenbaum in Sao Paulo last summer and their response to current craft/design issues in Brazil
Justin McGuirck, award-winning design writer for The Guardian and former Editor of Icon, will be the Respondent to the conference papers and include reflection on his own recent experience of Brazil