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Industrial Design In Puerto Rico

Localista,shown above, is the first store dedicated to showcase and sell products designed by Puerto Ricans. I recently spoke to Vladimir García. He is the director of the Industrial Design department at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. Why did I choose to interview him? I graduated from the program he now runs in 2007. Being 1 of a group of 5 Industrial Designers to ever graduate in the island may sound like an exciting historical event, but at the time, the future looked grim. With limited opportunities I decided to move to the states. Now, that I wish to move back and design interventions for social and economical change, I have to learn first hand what had changed. When Vla

"If It Was Made In Puerto Rico I Would Buy It."

I was riding the subway on my way to school when a middle age man came into the car. He was trying to make a few bucks by selling a set of 10 nail files and other groming tools. -"Fifty cents each. High quality. They are made in Puerto Rico... my bad, they are made in China." The seller, who looks like he is Puerto Rican or Newyorican, said. Train riders seemed both confused and amused. We were not sure if it was an honest mistake or if it was his way to grab our attention. -"If it was made in Puerto Rico, I would buy it." one Jewish rider said. Oddly, when I first noticed him a few stops earlier, I thought he looked just like my Newyorican brother in law with a kippah. Made in China, made i

An Ode To Lake Norman

Cornelius, North Carolina was the last place I called home. I was lucky to live by the shore of one of the biggest lakes in the state, Lake Norman. In Puerto Rico, my childhood's home is only half an hour away to the closest beach. Naturally being in such proximity to a clean body of water was a big deal for me. Although I-77 draws a line between the old houses on Main Street and the lake front McMansions; racial, social or economical clashes were never part of my experience there. The lake is a free source of leisure and health for everyone in the community to enjoy. Swimming, walking, running, biking and kayaking are some of the activities that the well maintained trails and parks in the a

The Illustrated Man, Rocket Man and Elton John

Science fiction is not my preferred type of reading. But when asked what book and movie I would take with me on a one way trip to space, Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man came to mind first. The illustrated man got tattooed by the wrong person. To his regret, the images on his skin are far from being normal tattoos. They move to animate stories about the future. Rocket Man, Elton John's classic tune (one of my favorites) is based on one of the stories. My curiosity to learn why the song came to be led me to discover Bradbury's fictional tales. The future in our planet, humans living in space, our interactions with other creatures in planets far away and the use of technology are all imagine

Blackish: The Word

“Thank you to all the straight white guys who dominated movies and TV so hard and for so long that stories about anyone else seem kind of fresh and original now.” Alan Yang, Master of None co-creator As a Puerto Rican living in the United States I gravitate toward the television shows that portray what is like to live in a country as diverse as the United States is. A same sex couple, a young Chinese American family, and an older white man married to a Latin bombshell 20 years younger are some of the characters I watch each season. Stereotypical characters and situations are never scarce in these shows much like they are in real life. Recently, the second season of Blackish, one of my favori

MARLYN MARTÍNEZ MARRERO

SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGNER

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