FID 2013: A Stadium Packed with Design

We climbed on to the stage as the presenter howled “Here are the scientists of design and  the designers of science! !’s A big applause for La Mandarina de Newton “.  An a deafening huge ovation ensued. Two thousand people crowded the Old Customs building in San Jose, Costa Rica. Two thousand people who were not in a rock concert but attending FID 2013, the International Design Festival of Costa Rica, a very special gathering that shakes Costa Rica and Latin America each year.

To this enthusiastic audience we communicated our vision of collaborative, and emergent design as well as our projects and ideas about design without designers. And they appreciated it! You bet it they did!. The three days of the FID 2013 were a shower of  lights, creativity gurus, dazzling personalities and much much show. But not only that.

FID 2013 seeks to motivate and draw attention to  design in Latin America. The idea of the two engines behind (and in front, and above and below) of FID, Paco Cervillo and Alfredo Enciso, is that some day in the future a renowned designer will say “my vocation started in a FID”. And their on the way of making this happen. In just three years, the FID has become a landmark event with a really impressive lineup of big names .
This year we shared the stage with Mikel Urmeneta, Aaron Koblin, Oliviero Toscani, Javier Mariscal, Fernanda Romano, Marc Bretillot, James Victore and Catalina Estrada.
But in addition, the organization asked us to conduct workshops with FID participants to share our vision of participatory and emerging design methods. This allowed us to  interact with Costarican professionals who were very interested in incorporating other design visions into their work. Their proposals were very creative and the discussions with them  greatly enriching for all. Projects were created on the spot that ranged from a collaborative approach in the use of public spaces and their relation to the promotion of healthy eating habits for children to the reorganization of  banking organization into an innovative powerhouse.
We could thus also contact with people like Ana Domb who after getting her PhD at MIT and working in Chile is organizing a master’s degree in Interaction Design from a collaborative design and user-centered design perspective. Also with planners and architects focused on participatory and community design. It was very rewarding, in this regard, see the work of Entre Nos Atelier, a team of architects very committed to sustainable community development and who apply participatory design techniques with which we feel very close.
The FID is primarily oriented to graphic design, fashion, industrial and architecture, but also begins to have room for other less traditional designs and design craft visions, less focused on the great personality. Beyond the big names and autograph-hunting we asked a lot, a feeling ambivalent, why deny-open spaces also other discussion about other types of design. In fact, we were invited Alfredo Paco and precisely approach the design from a less common view.We were able to interact with designers who were considering other forms of design. Especially enlightening were some conversations with Esteban Salgado of Ecuador, a designer who has made very wise reflections of What does this activity to create shared understanding. Or the same Ana Domb who was a pleasure to see how your project emerged “flying” on shared design.At the end, we were invited to go up to all the guest speakers on a “Line up” farewell. Standing ovation and tremendous energy that flowed up from the public.
Far from the lights and spectacle, Paco and Alfredo were able to create a precious  space away from San Jose where they invited all of us who had been invited as FID keynote speakers. Away from San Jose, on the Pacific Coast, we could get together and have a few days of quiet conversation. Besides gratifying good discussions about visual culture with Javier Mariscal we also contrasted our vision of participation with Aaron Koblin, Google’s Data Arts Team Creative Director (who launched among many other projects the Johnny Cash Project and had just released a very interesting collaborative process at Tate Britain). We could also throw few laughs and discuss future strategies with Mikel Urmeneta . We began collaborating with thim some time ago and it was he who took us to the FID. All this, while the Pacific presented us with breathtaking sunsets . Or let ourselves be amazed by the excellent cuisine of Kalú, a place that opened the doors to other areas of innovation in their creative laboratory. Kalú is a restaurant that is anything but just a restaurant.
We had also the chance to meet many key people in the promotion of a culture of change and innovation around art and design who cooperate with FID such as Fiorella Resenterra, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Karina Salguero- a great hostess  cultural engine, and among other things, editor of the wonderful Orsai magzine. Many others introduced us  to a country eager to trynew things. And of course, it was a treat to enjoy the tranquil countryside of Costa Rica after being soaked in so much adrenaline at FID.

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