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The Design Catarina was one of the exhibitions of the Brazilian Design Biennial Florianópolis 2015 that took place from the 15th of May to the 12th of July. The purpose of the exhibition was to show how the design culture is well implemented on the 4th more industrialized state of Brasil, presenting not only a wide variety of products but also spreading a strategy between public and private institutions that were able to introduce the importance of the discipline for the economy of the Santa Catarina state. Text: Tiago Krusse Photos: Courtesy of the Centro Design Catarina

In 2014, one year before the Brazilian Design Biennial Florianópolis 2015, we were invited by Roselie Lemos of the Centro Design Catarina to make a visit through Santa Catarina which is the 4th more industrialized state of Brasil. This trip organized by the Centro Design Catarina was supported by the Brazilian government and some public institutions related to professional education, industry and tourism. There was a clear intention to show all the efforts developed by the government and local public and private institutions to promote the design culture through the state and with that a strategy based upon the improvement of education and the introduction of new industrial approaches on the production system. So not everything it’s said about Brazil is bad and we mean that we have witness a well organized economical strategy for the development of the Santa Catarina societies. Despite the different societies that Santa Catarina holds through the state, not only in what it is related to historical, social and anthropological aspects, the geographic context it is also important. We saw a good work held by the Federations of the Industries of Santa Catarina (FIESC) towards focused initiatives to promote new opportunities for the economy by showing the benefits of introducing changes on the industrial structures. These changes have to do with education, knowledge and technology, key elements that a design culture is aware of. So we saw good implemented strategy from the textile industry, ceramic or software. By connecting education, technology and innovation some of the local industries are not only showing good level of redevelopment but also improving a lot in their


competitiveness. Despite development and competitiveness been spread throughout the state, one negative aspect that we’ve witness is that all economy and distribution is depending on the truck lobby so all cargo transportation is reduced to that because there is no railway cargo and aero cargo is expensive. I dare to say that economy is very much dependable of heavy truck lobby. We believe that the means of distribution is one key issue that urges for a wide national discussion, in the present state it is obstructive for all the different Brazilian economical systems. Roselie Lemos express her intention to show what the Santa Catarina state has to show, the high quality standards of its products, a well organized entrepreneurial force and a diversified industry. In the 60’s the Santa Catarina industries were the ones that start calling for qualified professional designers so the state economy despite all the political and economical changes of the last 50 years was able to kept this commitment with design. So great efforts and investments made on improving education and spreading technological knowledge linked with innovative means of production. Roselie proudly says that “we do have design, textile, ceramic, leather and accessories, furniture, appliances, games and software, machinery, transport and packaging, in addition to utilities, equipment and athletic apparel.” The production level has high quality and the manufactured items show how detail is kept in mind. Roselie adds that “industry takes a step forward showing its vision in value of design and its enormous contribution to the sustainable economic development of the country.”

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