What Design Can Do conference will focus on urban issues

What Design Can Do's São Paulo conference will focus on urban issues

Dezeen promotion: international design conference What Design Can Do is launching its first ever event in São Paulo from 7 to 8 December 2015, with a series of talks based on issues facing urban environments.

Although the event is held annually in Amsterdam, the organisation is now set to stage its first satellite edition at the Faap Theatre in São Paulo. It will focus on three themes: WDCD for Cultural Consciousness, WDCD with Nature and WDCD for Urban Issues.

What Design Can Do Sao Paulo promotion
Faap Theatre in Brazil

Speakers including Indian architect Rohan Shivkumar, interior and product designer Marcelo Rosenbaum, and journalist Tracy Metz will discuss issues in the fields of housing, mobility, food supply, employment, care, safety, air pollution and energy supply.

"São Paulo is exemplary for the mega cities around the world that increasingly attract people from the countryside," said the organisers. "Already half the world's population lives in cities – a figure that will increase even further over the next decades."

What Design Can Do Sao Paulo promotion
A Gente Transforma by Marcelo Rosenbaum –photography by Tatiana Cardeal

"With so many people living closely together – 20 million in São Paulo alone – it is obvious urban society has to cope with a growing number of pressing issues," they added.

What Design Can Do was founded by Richard van der Laken in 2010 in hopes of solving social issues through the medium of design.

What Design Can Do Sao Paulo promotion
Marcelo Rosenbaum

"We started as a platform for the discussion of design with a social impact," van der Laken told Dezeen. "Among the projects we've seen presented have been Fairphone, created by Dutch designer Bas van Abel, a serious product that should change our attitude to throwaway smartphones".

"Kees Dorst came up with 'designing against crime', a strategy to make our streets safer," he added. "These designers are among the many speakers we've heard from who have proven that design has a crucial role as a force for change, and change is badly needed right now".

Single day tickets are priced at R$ 400 (approximately £68), while a two-day ticket is R$ 690 (approximately £118). Both are available to purchase from the event website.

What Design Can Do Sao Paulo promotion
Rohan Shivkumar

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, graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister and humanitarian architecture champion Cameron Sinclair.

Dezeen and Dezeen Jobs are media partners for the São Paulo event, which 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 for urban issues

São Paulo is exemplary for the mega cities around the world that increasingly attract people from the countryside to the cities.

Already half the world's population lives in cities – a figure that will increase even further over the next decades. With so many people living closely together – 20 million in São Paulo alone –, it is obvious urban society has to cope with a growing number of pressing issues. Issues in the field of housing, mobility, food supply, employment, care, safety, air pollution and energy supply. Not to mention the social challenge of keeping up a sense of solidarity and connection.

Both technical and social solutions are tried and tested in cities around the globe. In many cases with some kind of involvement of designers. Architects, by the nature of their profession, are thinking thoroughly about the idea of the city and how they can contribute to make the urban environment a liveable place. But solutions may come from graphic, product, and digital designers and artists as well, as WDCD has demonstrated many times and will demonstrate again in São Paulo again.

Speakers within this theme include Rohan Shivkumar, Marcelo Rosenbaum and Tracy Metz.

www.whatdesigncando.com