Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos, Maria. MOVING BEYOND HOMELESSNESS. HOW DESIGN CAN BE AN INSTRUMENT FOR CHANGE . International Association of Societies of Design Research, Nov. 2007, www.sd.polyu.edu.hk/iasdr/proceeding/papers/Moving%20Beyond%20Homelessness%20How%20design%20can%20be%20an%20instrument%20for%20change.pdf.
Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos is a philosopher and an associate professor of Design at the School of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo. She got her MA at University of São Paulo, Philosophy, in Aesthetics, 1975 and her Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo, Philosophy, in Aesthetics, 1993. She is a scientific consultant for Brazilian Research Agencies, such as FAPESP and CNPq. Dr. Loschiavo dos Santos current research is about Discarded Products, Design, and Homelessness in Global Cities, and she is deeply committed to design and social responsibility issues. http://www.closchiavo.pro.br/site/profile.html
This article discusses the way that urban settings are beneficial to disadvantaged populations because of the abundance of wasted resources. Focused on Brazil, this study shows how people can collect recyclable materials as a survival strategy. It explores the ways that design could be used to give a better image to these people who collect materials to survive since they are essential to help keep the cities clean. Although they play an important role in the city’s ecosystem, these people are still disregarded by society and are undervalued for their work if they are working for an employer. Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos also wants designers to reevaluate the ways that they can lift the environmental burden of keeping cities clean from the shoulders of minority communities. Loschiavo dos Santos ran a course that required design students to directly interact with material collectors at different levels to properly analyze the problem and generate ideas. In her conclusion, she states “faced with the catastrophe of unemployment and deprivation in their lives, the collectors of recyclables created an alternative that is this central point of mutation in world awareness. In these difficult times, with increasing destruction caused by climate change, and greater environmental destruction in general, and the hyper-consumption accelerated by globalization, collectors are building a solidary, human alternative.” How can designers as a whole design products that might still head to the landfill, but that might be more beneficial to the communities who might access the landfill as a resource?