Designo Patagonia On The Importance Of Local Materials And Designing Things That Don't Make You Stupid

Designo Patagonia Matero Stool - Photo

Photo: Designo Patagonia.

Manu Rapoport is head designer at Designo Patagonia, a studio based in the south of Argentina whose products we've featured before.

Trust Design has an interesting audio interview with him in which he explains why it's important for designers to work with local materials, why they have to design products that don't make people stupid, and why designers need to recover people's trust. Read along for some excerpts.Designo Patagonia works with local and recovered materials, as Rapoport showed in his house, which he covered with recovered tin cans. He goes on to explain why this is crucial for all designers:

"When you use natural materials that are from your own region, you start to have a deeper concern about them. They become like characters, you begin to understand and treasure them, and you become directly involved in the sustainability of them."

Designo Patagonia Mor Chair - Photo

Designo Patagonia's three legged Mor Chair. Photo: Designo Patagonia.

Asked about his design of a three legged chair, Rapoport comments on the reasons behind it:

"When we made that chair we started to get comments from the people that began using it, and we chatted about things they discovered. This way the process became creative in both ways. We think products can generate knowledge and wisdom instead of dependence and ignorance. Design must involve the client in an active way: we believe it's better to have a knife in your hand to peel the apple than a chinese machine that peels apples. We like things that don't make you stupid."

Finally, the designer talks about restoring trust between people and product-makers:

"How can we trust design and products when the whole idea of production is corrupted? The idea that more consumption is more progress is falling apart, so (we have to ask ourselves:) is design part of this wheel of consumption or is it (something else)? We think design is for solving problems and not for generating them."

Rapoport has some interesting points to think about, and his artisan, low tech products let his spirit come through.

To hear the whole interview head to this link. And for more on the studio go to

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