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13 Jan 2011

Royal College of Art presents Brazil: The Cultural Contemporary

Brazilian Flag Eye (©

Brazil: The Cultural Contemporary
Royal College of Art


Friday 21 January 2011 - 10:00 to 17:00 The conference will be followed by a reception. Free admission

Julia Bunnage
+44(0)7909 963509

Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2EU

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This one-day conference is the result of research undertaken in Brazil in spring 2010 and has been developed in partnership with the Royal College of Art. Brazil has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a complex history and identity. This conference aims to inform a UK-based audience about Brazil's visual culture, with a focus on areas of craft, design and social change.

Adélia Borges
, the leading Brazilian design writer and curator, will give the keynote lecture on Brazilian contemporary craft and design and their context.

Kiki Mazzuchelli, writer, curator and Brazilian PhD researcher (TrAIN/University of the Arts), will explore the influential legacy of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992), who integrated European modernist and Brazilian vernacular cultures in her architecture, design and projects.

Frederico Duarte, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Scholar, will discuss social projects led by academics and practitioners, drawing on his extensive recent primary research in Brazil.

Tristan Manco, designer and author of Graffiti Brasil, will analyse the relationship between street life and cultural development through graffiti and graphics.

Cristiana Tejo, coordinator of Education at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco and an independent curator based in Recife, north-eastern Brazil, will lecture on the artist Adriana Varejão, renowned for her painted tile installations as a discourse on Brazilian postcolonial experience.

Bronac Ferran, Senior Research Tutor in the department of Innovation Design Engineering at the RCA and former Director of Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England, will focus on hi-tech creative projects in Brazil.

MA students from the Department of Design Products at the RCA - Maximillian Gubbins, Attua Aparicio, Sarah Colson, Alexander Groves - will give a presentation on their environmental design project with top designer Marcelo Rosenbaum in Sao Paulo last summer and their response to current craft/design issues in Brazil.

Justin McGuirk
, award-winning design writer for The Guardian and former Editor of Icon, will be the Respondent to the conference papers and include reflection on his own recent experience of Brazil.

Chair and convenor: Martina Margetts, Senior Tutor, Critical & Historical Studies, RCA.

Pre-registration is essential: email or call +44 (0)7909 963509. Please note places are limited, so we advise early booking.