Black Gold: A Case Study of a Design Project in the Amazon Rainforest

NOVEMBER 11, 2021 9:00AM - 10:00AM

"Black Gold” is a case study of a project carried out in the Amazon rainforest. The designers and local community members created the safety equipment supporting climbing the acai palm trees.



Black Gold: A Case Study of a Design Project in the Amazon Rainforest

"Black Gold” is a case study of a project carried out in the Amazon rainforest. The designers joined forces with the local community of acai berry pickers to create a system of devices for improving the safety of the traditional collection of the fruit, which grows at great heights on quite fragile palm trees. Acai berries are conquering new markets, with the US being the leading importer of this Amazonian "black gold”.

The event will complement the film and the designers’ talk. The short film depicts the stages of the project conducted in the Brazilian state of Para, mostly from the perspective of the local acai pickers - members of the project team. They explain their connection with nature and relationship with the surrounding rainforest. The film also reveals the day-to-day reality of the acai business, how it has rapidly changed the economy of these riverside communities. And ultimately the results of the collaboration - a set of custom equipment for açaí berry pickers.

The designers' talk will explain more about the approach applied in this project and the challenges encountered.

The project evokes important questions about the role of designers in a rapidly changing world and our responsibility to positively affect the future.

"Black Gold. A Case Study of a Design Project in the Amazon Rainforest” is made possible thanks to the support of the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

  • Monika Brauntsch, Designer, The Spirit of Poland Foundation / KAFTI
  • Founder of the KAFTI brand, presented and awarded at, among others, the Ślaska Rzecz and Must Have competitions. Winner of the Polish edition of the Young Creative Entrepreneur by The British Council (2011), awarded to the most dynamic companies from the creative industries. A graduate of Design Management (SWPS, 2012) and Human Resource Management (SGH, 2014) courses. Co-creator of the social projects "Peconheiros" and "myhand". Founder of the Spirit of Poland foundation (TSOP), which has carried out over a dozen exhibitions at design festivals, trade fairs as well as museum exhibitions around the world. Monika also conducts consultancy services as a Design Manager within the framework of design programs and audits, aimed at improving the competitiveness of Polish entrepreneurs through design.
  • Dorota Kabala, Designer, The Spirit of Poland Foundation / We design for physical culture
  • Dorota is a designer. She helps entrepreneurs develop and implement products that are good for the growth of their company, for their users and for the environment. She runs the “We design for physical culture” studio. She is a practitioner of sustainable development and accessibility. She also solves problems and advises entrepreneurs and designers in these areas, incl. PARP’s “Design for Entrepreneurs” projects, as part of the PPNT and Concordia Design activities. She is a lecturer at the School of Form and a co-founder of bold design projects such as KIT dos Peconheiros for acai berry pickers in the Amazon forest and myhand – for people with congenital hand anomalies. Dorota and her studio collaborated with Kampnagel Hamburg, Echo Investment, Gourmet Foods, CSW, the Polish Institute in Dusseldorf, and ISPO. She has vast experience in the sports industry, designing Nobile kitesurfing equipment, recreational equipment for the Warsaw National Stadium, and the Aerosize avalanche vest, among others.
  • Virtual
  • DAY
  • Thursday, November 11th
  • TIME
  • 9:00AM - 10:00AM
  • The Spirit of Poland Foundation
  • Students, designers, entrepreneurs, activists and all others interested in sustainable design, environmental challenges and the issues of the Amazon rainforest.