It sounds ostentatious. Manolo Bañó refers to the epigraph with which they announce their presence, along with Curro Claret, in Factoría Rambleta. They will speak, nothing more and nothing less, of Designs that change the world. “Then I thought about it and I thought it was right.” Why? Well, according to this designer, a professor at the CEU-UCH University in Valencia and director of the Free Design Bank cooperation project , things that are done on a small scale certainly serve to change the world. In any case, “the professional attitude must be that”, he emphasizes.
Since 1998, he has developed this cooperative project to carry out hundreds of design work for groups of disadvantaged artisans in situations of extreme need in countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, India Nepal.”My contribution, along with others equally small, can transform the world.” A world that was mainly struck by “the problem of inequality”, which Batom fought by offering free cooperative design . In doing so, we “improve the lives of a few”.
It is a pity that the Valencian public administration has harmed this cooperative work. “Blasco and company have loaded the entire structure of cooperation, all supports.” That is why Bañó insists on the recovery of social values as a germ of design. “The crisis has done damage on the one hand, but it has also cleaned the design world of many nonsense.” In fact, Free Design Bank was born as a result of an ambitious project called Design for the real world by Victor Papanek.
“And what would the unreal world be?”
– “The unreal world is the one we live in the West, with so many useless objects and an economic bubble that almost eats us.”
Bañó explains that it is not a matter of changing the design, but of claiming its essence. “Design is linked to the objects that man uses, while those objects make life easier.” Volunteer students and outstanding Valencian designers participate each year in the solidarity projects that Bañó carries out under the umbrella of the CEU-Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia . Projects supported by NGOs specializing in the promotion of Fair Trade that allow, for example, 12 disabled women in Senegal to improve their standard of living by developing products that will later be marketed.
“We focus design on those who have forgotten the design, who are the disadvantaged.” This, in turn, provokes “a cure of humility because it puts us back in the design of survival”. Bath here is especially critical: “The DNA of objects is deteriorated, has perverted, is incestuous; Are part of an inbred design. Objects that do not rely on the three legs of the design defined by Bañó: functionality, aesthetics and emotionality.
– «How to recover those objects and the design itself to the real world?»
– “Trying to solve real and non-commercial or marketing needs; Not induced by the hyperconsumer society “.
In short, let the tcc designer “be honest”. Honesty that Manolo Bañó sees next to the economy of the common good that comes propaganda in Valencia Paco Álvarez, newly appointed General Director of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism of the Generalitat Valenciana. Economía that Bañó sums up like this: “Less personal benefits and more social”.
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