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TeseAQuestaodaGambiarra

TeseAQuestaodaGambiarra

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Published by Rodrigo Boufleur
Tese "A Questão da Gambiarra: Formas Alternativas de Desenvolver Artefatos e suas Relações com o Design" , de Rodrigo Boufleur
Tese "A Questão da Gambiarra: Formas Alternativas de Desenvolver Artefatos e suas Relações com o Design" , de Rodrigo Boufleur

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Published by: Rodrigo Boufleur on Dec 17, 2008
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02/10/2014

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 A Questão da
Formas Alternativas de Produzir Artefatos e suas Relações com o Design de Produtos
Rodrigo Boufleur 
São Paulo: FAU-USP, 2006
 
 
G
ambiarra 
is a term frequently used in Brazil in an informal way, which has no directtranslation to other languages considering the meanings involved. In a general way, the word
 gambiarra 
brings the idea of “
improvisation
”.
Gambiarra 
can be understood as any process or necessary procedure to constitute an improvised artifact or solution. It mostly refers to the
design
of theseartifacts, understanding it as a result of an
alternative
attitude that reveals strong cultural aspects frontthe dialectic process between necessity and solution.
F
or some people, the
 gambiarra 
representsprecarious conditions, or something non-official,out-of-pattern. This can be negatively understood,because sometimes, improvisations involveugliness, uncertainty, dishonesty, poverty,displeasure. However, by other side, the
 gambiarra 
 idea can get also a good interpretation: In keeping  with the post-modernity and a moment of changein how some specialists and the Brazilian peoplesee their own culture and identity, the use of the word
 gambiarra 
currently remits to what we call
 jeitinho brasileiro
, which means, the “
Brazilian wayof life
” - the Brazilian way of doing things orsolving problems. This ideology talks about theBrazilian´s tendency to have creative spirit, greatability for invention, and also innovation skills - atthe end, the dynamics of the whole popularculture process. It considers the range of adversities and vicissitudes to which all of us(some in fact much more) are exposed,understanding those procedures as an idea thattouch the concepts of 
reuse 
/
recycling 
and
bricolage 
. This idea relates the
 gambiarra 
to sustainability andsocial development issues. It invokes us into ananalysis of the products production: the unbalancebetween what we really need and what isproduced and established for us.
 
 
egardless of the vernacular issues, the
 gambiarra 
word is been used to define any kind of necessary action, made by anyone, that would constitute an improvised solution or utilitarian object. By the
material culture 
sense,
 gambiarra 
can be understood as an
alternative artifacts design
: In this sense,
 gambiarra 
is an
heteroklytos 
way to develop a practical/functional solution. In other words, a process thatdevelops an object in a spontaneous way - based on an instantaneous
in sight 
, inspired by a particularneed or disposable material resource, providing the constitution of a material solution in an improvised way. These relations get us to comprehend the
 gambiarra 
as a parallel paradigm, which takes place fromthe limits and impacts provided by the industrial model of production and consumption. If the
design 
 activity is not defined by the “styling”, but actually, by the development of artifacts (industrial or not),then essentially,
design 
and
 gambiarra 
are
similar procedures
. The differences depend on each context,like the used technology, the methods, the infrastructure involved (factory, people, equipment, raw material, etc), the industrial process, its politics, and some corporative targets as “why produce”, “for whom”, and “for what”.
 T
he intention of relate the terms
design 
and
 gambiarra 
induce us into a
reflection
about values,myths, and meanings; the contributions and the consequences of the objects in the composition of theculture and the development of the post-modern society. The
 gambiarra 
issue
1
involves topics aboutdesigning artifacts and the rescue of the social role of the design activity. It talks about post-use;innovation and sustainability; the garbage problem and the value of some disposed materials; thenecessity, creativity and solution process; the idiosyncrasy and the specific needs reality. It also involvesa small analysis of the Brazilian culture, and what this simple model of life has to say to the world.
1
The "
Gambiarra 
" issue: Alternative ways to develop artifacts and its relations to the product design (Aquestão da
Gambiarra 
: Formas alternativas de desenvolver artefatos e suas relações com o design deprodutos) is a research theme created by Rodrigo Boufleur (boufleur@gmail.com) in 1999 at his
Industrial Design 
graduation course in São Paulo, Brazil. It was presented as a Post-graduation Master of ScienceThesis in September 2006 in the
University of São Paulo 
(USP).
* This document was implemented in the digital version of the Rodrigo Boufleur’s thesis (2006), withthe intention to provide international access and understanding of its main topics.

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