Loughborough University
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The ephemeral aesthetic of spontaneous design on the streets of Sao Paulo

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conference contribution
posted on 2012-02-22, 14:04 authored by Robert G. Harland, Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
There are few opportunities when the poor and prosperous can be spoken about with respect to the same, shared cultural experience. And yet, visual culture, and the design process that contributes to its materialisation in specific contexts, offers an opportunity to recognise a socially inclusive activity that reveals similarity rather than difference. This paper celebrates an ephemeral aesthetic that is appreciated by people at different ends of the economic, political and social spectrum. A mutual appreciation for the medium of collage differs only in terms of the environment within which the recycled object is eventually revealed. This paper explores some of these different contexts, and those who recognise and practise this phenomenon in a South American and European context. The conclusion of this speculative and exploratory study is that there is potential to develop this unique medium as an accessible and inclusive visual language, giving voice to those who often do not have the opportunity or the means to speak and be heard. Collage is recognised as a channel that mediates between social exclusion and inclusion when political and economic means have been exhausted. The resulting ephemeral aesthetic is proven to have visual appeal, satisfying lowand high-order human needs.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts


HARLAND, R.G.and LOSCHIAVO DOS SANTOS, M.C., 2008. The ephemeral aesthetic of spontaneous design on the streets of Sao Paulo. IN: Durling, D. ... et al., (eds). Undisciplined! Proceedings of the Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16th-19th July 2008.


Sheffield Hallam University


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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