Dezeen promotion: What Design Can Do, a conference that aims to promote the role of design as a tool for social change, is launching its first event in São Paulo with a nature-themed series of talks.
Founded in 2011, What Design Can Do (WDCD) was created to bring together designers from all disciplines to showcase and debate the power of "aesthetics with substance" in society.
The event is held annually in Amsterdam, but the organisation is now set to stage its first satellite edition in São Paulo, Brazil, from 7 to 8 December 2015.
"We want to show what design can do," WDCD founder Richard van der Laken told Dezeen. "Nothing should prevent us, designers, from enhancing human dignity in any way we can."
The São Paulo conference will take place at the city's Faap Theatre and focus on three themes: WDCD for Urban Issues, WDCD for Cultural Consciousness and WDCD with Nature.
WDCD with Nature will partly focus on the possibilities offered by Brazil's huge biodiversity and will also offer an opportunity to discuss ways in which designers can push the boundaries of what is possible with natural processes and substances.
"People have always taken nature as the basis for their actions," said the organisers. "But a new generation of designers is going even a step further exploring how new techniques from the natural sciences and biotechnology might be useful as design tools."
"They question the concept of nature, and think of innovative and sustainable solutions for all sorts of problems in society," they continued.
The nature theme will feature talks by synthetic biology designer Daisy Ginsberg and Dutch food designer Marije Vogelzang, who was recently appointed head of the new food department at Design Academy Eindhoven.
"There's so much going on in the world of food that we need designers to start working on this in a serious way," Vogelzang told Dezeen. "It is the most rich and important material in the world."
Other speakers include Koert van Mensvoort, founder of Dutch research lab Next Nature Network, and smell designer Sissel Tolaas.
Single day tickets are priced at R$ 400 (approximately £68), while a two-day ticket is R$ 690 (approximately £118), and are available to purchase from the event website.
What Design Can Do's Amsterdam conference took place earlier this year at the Stadsschouwburg theatre in Amsterdam.
Among the special guests and speakers were architect Ole Scheeren, the Campana Brothers and Tolaas, who designed a scent installation designed with Mickaël Wiesengrün.
Dezeen and Dezeen Jobs are media partners for the event that takes place from the 7 to 8 December 2015. Find out more about the conference on the website, and read on for more information from the organisers.
WDCD with nature
Brazil is a huge country with a vast amount of real and still unspoiled nature. It is one of the best places on earth to draw inspiration from nature in all its glory, efficiency and beauty. Top chef Alex Atala told at WDCD 2015 in Amsterdam what this can mean, demonstrating how nature, indigenous culture and modern city life can benefit from a careful and complaisant exchange.
People have always taken nature as the basis for their actions. But a new generation of designers is going even a step further exploring how new techniques from the natural sciences and biotechnology might be useful as design tools. They question the concept of nature, and think of innovative and sustainable solutions for all sorts of problems in society.
At WDCD 2013 Suzanne Lee presented her concept of bacteria grown garments, while Daisy Ginsberg in 2014 shared her visions on 'living architecture', buildings that could for instance bind carbon dioxide.