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Thalia Rondon Raffo, BFA Integrated Design, Playful Culture

Playful Culture is based on the premise that objects of play can inform and engage audiences with culture by facilitating intimate experiences, and that collaborating with artisans throughout the process can further promote representation and preservation of heritage. For this end, participatory design is embraced as a tool and belief–system in how ancestral techniques and contemporary design might inform each other, while promoting a horizontal learning environment through making, debate, and mutual support.

The first set of outcomes are two toys and an illustrated myth book, both done with Ronin Koshi, a Shipibo–Conibo artist based in Lima, Peru. These incorporate Shipibo mythology and craft into a contemporary medium, thus making them more accessible to a wider audience, facilitating empathy. The second deliverable is a process book that shows and reflects on the process of making something together, for ourselves, our patrimony, and our country. It seeks to demonstrate the value and potential of finding the intersections between apparently contradicting practices, and the role of participatory design in reconciling these differences for a common goal. It further serves as a record, for Ronin and I, of the whole process, combining our independent contributions into a comprehensive and overarching narrative.

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