Posts filed under ‘Community’

Amalia, working with local artisans to achieve greatness

Pic: Eggpicnic Design [Paolo Remedy, photographer]

Camila de Gregorio [Chile] and Chris Macaluso [Australia] entrepreneurs and designers from the successful  Eggpicnic Design [firm that sells their creations all around the world] tell us about their new project on working hand in hand with local artisans [Mario Rojas and Francisco Palma] from the evolving rural location of  ChimbarongoChile .

Currently, in the culture in which we find ourselves, many objects have neither symbolic or cultural attributes. However, objects produced in the framework of traditional techniques and materials, are able to establish a connection between who produces the object and the user, developing a link between the material and the technique used for its creation, thus reactivating, specific aspects of culture.
Pic: Eggpicnic Design [Paolo Remedy, photographer]

Amalia by  Eggpicnic is a project that addresses a number of traditional (more…)


June 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Escaping “assembly-line instruction”: Design.ed as a desirable education style?

Diagram: CM, Adapted from Dr. Barbara Rogoff 2011 

Education has been a topic touched by various disciplines, organizations and governments. But as important as it is, not many radical moves have been undertaken in places like in my home country. Today I attended a lecture in the “Center for Children, Relationships and Culture“, part of the Human Development Dept. at the University of Maryland where Dr. Rogoff presented research on the way kids [her biggest studies are from indigenous Mesoamerica or kids with that heritage] learn. Her insights suggested that kids from this area have what she calls a learning through Intent Community Participation. As she mentions: “where children are included in a wide range of activities, they are keen observers and learn through contributing to the ongoing activities of their community.” On the contrary, the way the average American is educated is through what she calls: “Assembly line Instruction“. She indicates: “Unlike learning through Intent Community Participation Assembly-Line instruction controls learners’ attention, motivation, and behavior in settings isolated from productive contributions to the community“. In her work, she exposes the benefits of going for a more engaging education that touches reality and ongoing participation.


As soon as Dr. Rogoff presented the characteristics of Intent Community Participation instruction, I started to think: this looks very much like education in design…. Diagram: CM, Adapted from Dr. Barbara Rogoff 2011

No wonder why people are talking about incorporating some design-ed strategies in the schooling system. Design, (more…)

April 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm 2 comments

Designing with Handcrafters in Chile, a social commitment

Pic: Eggpicnic Design

Camila de Gregorio, Chilean designer from the successful  Eggpicnic Design [firm that sells their creations all around the world] tells us about her social commitment standpoint towards working hand in hand with artisans in the small rural location of Rari, Chile. The post is in English and Spanish.

Ser diseñador conlleva un gran compromiso social. Siendo capaces de integrar a los individuos a la modernidad por medio de su obra, no corrompemos los códigos que les son propios. Trabajamos con Marcela Sepúlveda, una artesana experta en crin y oriunda de Rari, un pueblo ubicado al sur de la capital chilena, al pie de la precordillera. Pic: Eggpicnic Design [Andrew Mercer]
Su trabajo (more…)

January 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

QloQ’s Asset-Based Community Discovery

Pic:Design in Difference multidisciplinary course 2011 Design-Anthro NCState [CM]

Is not everyday that you have a group of students that are so proactive and willing to work with others outside their community. Three students from the Design in Difference have made a major linkage of what they learned in this design-anthropology course [mainly “community building” through asset-based methods for co-creation] with their work [a non profit that looks to promote sustainable relationships among two different cultures]. Here is what Brian Gaudio , architecture student at NCState did with his undergraduate research grant in in Dominican Republic through “Que lo Que“:Pic: Brian Gaudio and QloQ in Dominican Republic

“K lo k.” A colloquial Dominican phrase for “what’s up” is part of North Carolina State University‘s vocabulary thanks to the student organization Que lo Que. Over the past two years, students from around the US have worked and lived in the Dominican Republic to better understand the culture and relationship between the US and DR. (more…)

October 2, 2011 at 1:25 am Leave a comment

Cycling Social Innovation Part 2: Cuba

Continuing with the series of posts about equality fostered by bicycles [Check out the part 1 post: Cycling in Morocco], I wanted to  add some other ethno-photographs regarding a series of “usage innovations or self-crafted adaptations” that are, in this case, portraying Cubans [Taken on a “road trip” from Havana to Santiago de Cuba and the Keys]. And Cuba affords a not very common setting. Not only for it’s political standing, but because there are constraints that oblige people to make what they can form the things they have available on the island. A huge contrast with the excessive use planned obsolescence of industrial designs present in countries like the States, France or Spain. Nonetheless, the “commuting” context in Cuba is not easy. Roads are full of holes, individuals wait for hours for any transportation for getting from one place to another which can make a day-to-day journey harder than what we are used to. Yet, innovation driven by scarcity does happen in this context… and you can even get a hole in your tire fixed with a “condom” [no kidding], which thanks to the State birth control policies, are cheaper to get than a rubber repair kit for your bike. In the end it’s still a polymer no? Still, patterns arise when comparing the cycling behaviors of Cubans, Chileans, West Africans and even in the States…. They will be visible as other posts are revealed. [All pictures taken by CM ]

Commuting is not really easy….

Over-use of the bike [a bicycle built for two?]


August 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm 1 comment

When does social entrepreneurship start making more harm than good?

Pic: PF
A big part from working with social issues is to understand the pitfalls that these convey. Pablo Fernández a business-management alumni from PUC Chile and Master student from Stanford places upfront the controversy on “first world” NGO’s trying to solve some foreign problems. He reports from Kenya:
“I just came back from Nairobi, Kenya, one of the poorest countries in the world (147 of 182 according to the UN within the countries with data), where we had the chance to visit two of the biggest slums in Nairobi; Mathare and Kibera. People told us that in Kibera there are more NGO’s than toilets. Although this may sound funny, it is completely true; there is almost one or two NGO (more…)

April 6, 2011 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

Cycling Social Innovation- Part 1:Morocco

I’ve heard a dozen of times that bicycles foster equality. And actually, I do believe in this statement. Being a cyclist-commuter in my own lands, I have become part of the “obliged” car use here in the States. But back home, in Santiago de Chile [even though, different from what happens in the Netherlands, the population is not really educated towards a bicycle-friendly philosophy] cyclists entail an heterogeneous group of individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Theft and drivers are the downside of biking, at least in Santiago de Chile. Yet, there are well-known community based movements like the “Furiosos Ciclistas” [angry cyclists] that fight for the cyclist’s local rights. In my obsession regarding design and this egalitarian mean of transportation, I’ve been photographing a series of “usage innovations or self-crafted adaptations” coming from different individuals around the world. This first piece is from Morocco 2010 [Marrakech, Casablanca, TizNit, Taroudant, Rabat & Dakhla]. [All pictures taken by CM.]


March 25, 2011 at 4:32 am 1 comment

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contact + citing (CC license)

Constanza Miranda PhD(c) design.anthro
* Currently @ DILAB
* Ex.VR @ Stanford's Center for Design Research [DesignXLab]
* Ex.Instructor @ PUC Chile [Design+Engineering]
Use citations ¡Citar es ético!
Creative Commons License
Design for Social Innovation initiative by Constanza Miranda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at