Entrevista com Pedro Oliveira sobre a descolonização do design e como podemos ampliar o debate dentro e fora da comunidade de design.

Estátua de Cristóvão Colombo decapitada.
Estátua de Cristóvão Colombo decapitada.
Foto original: Robin Lubbock/WBUR

A descolonização do design já vem sendo debatida há um bom tempo entre acadêmicos e artistas, e, muito recentemente, começa a entrar na bolha dos profissionais de design em diversas esferas, como designers de produtos físicos, gráficos, e com um pouco mais de força entre designers de produtos digitais, UX, UI, etc.

Como parte desta comunidade, é muito importante que nós também comecemos a debater a descolonização do design e a questionar não somente as organizações em que trabalhamos, mas, principalmente, nosso próprio comportamento como vetor da perpetuação do pensamento colonizador do design. …


Pedro Oliveira talks about decolonizing design and how we can amplify the debate inside and outside the design community

Estátua de Cristóvão Colombo decapitada.
Estátua de Cristóvão Colombo decapitada.
Original photo by Robin Lubbock/WBUR

There’s a while that decolonizing design is debated among academics and artists, and now, very recently, it started to pop into the design professionals bubbles, such as physical product designers, graphic designers, and slightly more often among digital product designers, UX, and UI designers. Being part of this community, it’s very important we also start to debate the decolonization of design and question not only the organizations we work at but mainly our own behavior as perpetuation agents of the colonizing thinking, going further beyond the small and still superficial practices such, for example, language representation, iconography, and cultural appropriation.

In this interview, I talk with Pedro Oliveira, that tells more about the subject and gives some suggestions and paths on how we can amplify the debate inside our environment. Holding a Ph.D. …


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When we look at designers we admire, it’s funny how many times we try to mimic them. Having people as inspiration is great, but also just makes it hard for us designers to understand that we as individuals think differently, our processes are different, and it doesn’t mean that what we are doing is wrong or not good.

Design is a quantum thing, not binary, and there are many different ways to achieve an objective. When I say ways, it means processes, methodologies, and also solutions.

If each of us is unique, what's the matter having different ways to see and solve problems as designers?

“We know not through our intellect but through our experience.” — Maurice Merleau-Ponty

In “The Phenomenology of Perception” book, Maurice Merleau-Ponty lands basically our perception about the world around us and challenges the “right and wrong” Cartesian mindset. Each consciousness has its own formation and builds its perception departing from one’s own existence, as a pre-reflective ground, serving as a foundation to reflect in actions. Summarizing, our reactions are nothing else than part of the bunch experiences that, among other things, molds our own personality, and consequently our way to see and understand. …


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A few weeks ago, a new colleague reached me out asking what’s the best way to use our design system. Researching around the internet I found that many designers still have some questions about how to use a componentized system and still being creative when designing solutions for their projects. So I decided to write some tips that I wish I have had and that I believe can help you to get rid of the moorings that a system may seem to give.

1. Be aware of why you have a design system

Having the notion of the importance and the reason every tech company strives to have the best as they can when it comes to a design system will help you a lot for every new task or project you’ll face. A design system is a facilitator that every designer wants, it helps not only making products consistent visually but mainly helps to give you more time to think on the problem instead of on visuals. …


A bit of what it's going so far and how I'm facing a completely new work environment.

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My old view in São Paulo (Brazil) x My new view in Stockholm (Sweden)

For those who don’t know, I’m a Brazilian designer living in Sweden have already one year and it’s very interesting how things are still new to me and how I miss my comfort zone in the middle of the “mess” and very fast pace we in Brazil are used to work.

When I started searching for jobs abroad, my goal was not only having the opportunity to move from Brazil and live in another country but mainly experiencing how a different market and design mindset work. The comfort zone that I said I'm missing now was one of the factors that were making me so restless, feeling that something was missing, feeling that there was more I could learn and improve, and one year ago I was starting my new job as Product Design at Klarna in Stockholm. …


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But I'll delete you

We all lived that phase of arrogance, owners of opinions about anything. It’s part of what we are, I believe it’s a thing we just live and having these moments in our lives just state our hungry for more, a kind of ambition.

But after some time we start to understand that we need to be more detached, that we really don't know everything and listen to learn is always better than stand for an idea we are not sure, and have sure about our designs and problems to solve is quite important to achieve our goals. …


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In our jobs we usually are focused on what apparently we were taught to do; design things. But we’ll face, during our career, moments where our most known skills won’t be the answer. Wireframing, drawing, colorizing, distributing elements, will be disposable tasks, which makes us feel a little — to not say a lot — uncomfortable, and we really need to be prepared for that.

I’ve found in all of these years many designers that don’t like to get their hands dirty, don’t get out their comfort zone, using arguments as “It’s for a UX researcher”, “We have BIs and POs for it”, “It’s a business’ duty”. …


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WTF do you want to mean? It’s the same thing. Yes and No.

When we had the boom about User Experience last years, all of us were astonished; "Yes! That's it!". But do you already stopped to think if it really was discovered in the last 10, 20, 30 years?

We used to use the UX (User Experience) expression to refer to digital interaction, interfaces — any kind of them — and digital services. But the truth is that User Experience is much more than just a good experience about all of this stuff.

Our first register about user experience design comes from almost 600 years ago with Leonardo da Vinci (always him) and his not successfully try of a functional kitchen designed for a high-society party, which means the first record about UX is a fail and a bad client experience. …


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Don't worry, we all are.

I remember when I debuted at College. In Brazil we choose our course and study everything about it since our first day, and I really had no idea about exactly what design was. I've chosen Design as graduation because it was the closer course I knew about draw that wasn't art. I used to draw a lot at high school and was looking for a career which could keep me drawing, basically was that.

Throughout the first year I discovered I was totally wrong, and loved it. I had the opportunity to study in one of the most conceptualized Brazilian universities and have had amazing teachers. My formation wasn't much technical, it was more theoretical, based on concepts, giving me more than just execution skills, I was starting to be able to think more, being more critical and analytical. My capacity for conceptualize ideas and bring then for a touchable product — remembering touchable doesn't mean physical — was built at College, and there I really started to realize what capable we are for do it. It's a huge discovery. …


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Lemos muitas histórias sobre UI/UX e design de produto em startups de sucesso, empresas de tecnologia e desenvolvedoras de produtos digitais. Porém, quem está neste meio há algum tempo conhece os percalços que passamos até conseguirmos realizar grandes projetos.

Por ser o tipo de pessoa apaixonada por novas ideias e pela oportunidade transformá-las em realidade, sempre procurei me envolver com projetos em que fosse possível desenvolver inovação, aprendizado e criatividade. E é aí que está a pegadinha. Normalmente empresas assim são aquelas que estão começando, pequenos negócios, startups em seu estado inicial.

O que quero abordar aqui são os desafios que nós designers e desenvolvedores temos em startups que realmente estão começando. Nem todas possuem aportes iniciais milionários, quando muito possuem algum investimento que não seja dos próprios fundadores, e a necessidade de se ter um produto escalável, rápido e eficiente se faz não apenas necessária, mas principalmente urgente. E “urgência” é a palavra que dita o ritmo de desenvolvimento em qualquer empresa que se encontra em seu estado inicial. …

About

Felipe Sbravate

I’m a Brazilian product, digital, visual, brand, or whatever, designer based in Stockholm. Currently Senior Product Designer @Dreams_app

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