Satori: Two Pushing for a Conscious Design


Most of the times, green or sustainable products come from a deep thought into the design process, a conscious walk to find the best solution for a series of problems. Satori Lab is a hybrid Argentinean initiative that aims to wake young designers to this conscious practice of their craft. Its founders, designer Alejandro Sarmiento and journalist Lujan Cambariere, intend to do so through different activities, the first being a workshop named Liquid Love that encouraged students to dive into the question of how ephemeral bonds and products are and can be. After its great success in Design Connection Buenos Aires, Sarmiento and Cambariere are preparing to replicate the experience at the Museu da Casa Brasileira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) next March. Before that happens, Cambariere explains TreeHugger what's all about.Satori is not easy to explain: it's an idea, a workshop, and an open space, something that's growing. But most of all, it's an initiative whose meaning resides in its name: a Japanese Buddhist term for 'enlightenment'. That's its ambicious goal: to make design students think, experiment, get involved in the products development process and find intelligent solutions that can make intelligent products.

The lab was started by industrial designer Alejandro Sarmiento, well known for his vast work with recovered materials, and journalist Lujan Cambariere, who has dedicated big part of her career to communicate how design can transform societies in Argentina and Latin America.

"Every time Alejandro and I got together to talk about design," Cambariere explains, "whether it was for an article I was writing or because we were invited to the same event, we used to learn so much of each other that we thought it would be great to be able to reproduce those moments with other professionals, and with a goal," she says.

Thanks to the designer and journalist's backgrounds, that goal has been to warn students about 'disposable design' and materials recovery: Satori's first activity was a workshop called Liquid Love that gathered 50 students from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Bolivia to think about frail relationships.

What does that have to do with design? Cambariere answers: "We took as a base the book Liquid Love by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman because it explains how fragile human bonds have become in this era, when we communicate mainly through the web and send birthday greetings via text messages," she explains. "In the net everything serves the goal of being connected while keeping distance. This logic is equivalent to that of some products: a relationship based in immediate consume and use without prejudice," she adds.

With this in mind, the students were called to express their thoughts in installations using the responsible-company Natura's industrial leftovers. Some of the workshop's results were perfume-packaging puffs (first picture), plastic-seals lamps, and perfume-bottles creatures (above), among others.

Even though on a first instance the activities aren't focused on product development for consume, Cambariere says in a near future they might be. In fact, they already had a call from Brazil asking them to bring the workshop over and develop products with a firm's leftovers.

"We are also thinking about incorporating artisans' materials to work with designers," Cambariere adds, "so that they can develop better products with them".

Satori's next activity is taking place next March, when Sarmiento and Cambariere arrive in Sao Paulo to replicate the Liquid Love workshop at the Museu da Casa Brasileira. If you want to be there or learn more about the project, contact them via e-mail at satorilab at gmail dot com. ::Satori blog


Designer Alejandro Sarmiento, PR for Natura Cosmetics Karina Stocovacs and journalist Lujan Cambariere.