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Catarina Marques

The Gender Gap
SEASON
1
EPISODE
5
ÔÇó
November 15, 2021
Catarina: In my bachelor class in Lisbon, there were like... only 10 men students, and about 50 women. And so then... I realized that, looking at rankings in Portugal, I would see the opposite. So it would be only one, or two women between... more than 20 men, in some categories. And others would even not have any women at all. So, just by comparing those two realities, I realized that in the middle, something had to be wrong, you know?

[intro music]

Bruno: Hello, everyone. And welcome to the Design is for Everyone podcast.

A project that intends to explore the many sides of design and discuss the role of democratization of the practice in a global context. And where today we'll be talking with Catarina Marques.

Catarina is a graphic designer by training, that has made her career in the world of creativity. Recently she joined Offf Academy with the project, Mind the Gap.

The project is a visual exploration of the many gaps that women deal with in the creative industries, and now that affects entire generations of talent yet to join the design and creative markets.

[intro music]

Catarina: Amazing podcast. That will have five stars everywhere.

Bruno: Let's hope so. Let's hope so. And we can start like this. That was the best start that you could ever give to my podcast. Hi, Catarina.

Catarina: Hello Bruno, how are you?

Bruno: I'm fine. Thank you. And welcome to the Design is for Everyone podcast. And as I've started with everyone else, I would start with the question. How did you got into design? And what's your backstory, how did you get into the world of design?

Catarina: Yeah, so I think I was always creatively inclined, you know? The creative subjects were always my favorites. I would arrive home, and watch Art Attack. And imitate everything that the guy did.

Bruno: I can relate with that. I can definitely relate with that. I have a lot of Art Attack things at home, where my parents live.

Catarina: And everything was so useless, but it was fun. And it got us into the design thing. Then I... talking about Design specifically. I studied communication design, in Lisbon. Fine arts university in Lisbon. And... though the last year of my course, I spent it in Rome and it was there that I really started to enjoy the file tool to its full. Then I came back to Lisbon, started doing my first internship in an advertising company. Then I went to Barcelona, more or less one year after, to do my masters in Elisava. And at the same time I was working in Metal magazine.

Which was super cool. I was interviewing my favorite designers and artists. So it was just very inspiring here to do great design work as well. Then I came back to Lisbon and started working in a studio here, Silva Designers, where I worked for, more or less three years. We did work mainly within the field of culture, with museums. And other cultural institutions. And yes, I just changed jobs to... to a startup. So something completely different.

Bruno: So you just entered the startup world.

Catarina: Yeah.

Bruno: Welcome to the club.

Catarina: Let's see how it goes. Yeah, and in the meantime, I just always have done some personal projects, as well as freelance jobs that allowed me to discover other things that I like to do as well.

Bruno: Yeah. And it seems like you've traveled a lot, which is also great. Like being able to study abroad and learn from different parts of the world and different things. It's interesting.

Catarina: It was crucial, for sure.

Bruno: It was crucial. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

I don't have that experience, but I always hear people saying I've learned a lot more, or a I've learned very differently from one place to the other. Which is, I don't know... this is just inspiring in some way.

Catarina: Exactly. Just like, living in a different... different environment, with different things. It really... actually the other day I was talking with a creative director, from Portugal. She's like around 50 or so. And she was telling me that, from my projects, the ones she liked more, were the ones I did abroad.

So she told me: "you should just go abroad again. All the best things you have done were done abroad."

Bruno: At least it feels like you were more inspired when you were abroad. That has a lot to say about Portugal, which is bad. But, nevermind. (I do love the country.) Yeah, so... along the way you've worked in different topics, you've seen a lot of different things. But you have a very specific project that you did quite recently called Mind the Gap: What it Feels Like for Women. And actually, before talking about the actual project, and going down that rabbit hole, I would love to ask you, where did you start to feel like there was a gap?

Catarina: Yeah. I think, you know, in my bachelor class in Lisbon, there were like... only 10 men students, and about 50 women. And so then... I realized that, looking at rankings in Portugal, I would see the opposite. So it would be only one, or two women between... more than 20 men, in some categories. And others would even not have any women at all. So, just by comparing those two realities, I realized that in the middle, something had to be wrong, you know?

Bruno: Yeah.

Catarina: Yeah. Yeah.

Bruno: That's it. Essentially that it! That's where you found the gap. Yeah. And eventually, this developed into an idea. You had a project about this. How did it happen? How did it start? Where did it came from, and how did you created it?

Catarina: Yeah. So actually, we were in the middle of the pandemic when I started thinking about the project. I was going through a phase where nothing really exciting was happening in my life. I think in everyone's life. So I even though about changing the path of my career, and I thought about studying UX/UI design. Which is something I've never done before, because I was seeing everyone doing that. Like, suddenly everyone started to take courses.

Bruno: The whole market just kind of went like, oh, this thing seems like it's cool.

Catarina: Yeah. But then I thought: "why follow what everyone else is doing, when maybe it's not my true call", you know? And that's not what I'm naturally inclined to do. I would never be that good, I think to stand out in this field.

So... I saw Offf Academy, which is a mentorship program powered by Adobe and Offf Festival. And I thought about applying to the interactive category, but then I was like: "no. Let's go for... for photography. And again, I thought about applying with a different project. Like, my first idea was something related with cinema, and my favorite movies. But then I realized no one cares about that, I have to do it about something that matters. Not only to me, but like, to a lot of people.

And this is... I decided to go for Mind the Gap, because... also along that year I had seen a lot of things in Portugal, happening that I realized even more that... that the gap was big, you know? And I started to feel that no one was doing anything about it.

So I decided to apply with Mind the Gap, and I won the mentorship. And then started doing the project, more or less one year ago.

Bruno: And. Tell us a little bit more about it. What topics did you explore then? And how did you explore them? I guess that's... that's super interesting because the specific of the gap between men and women, it's not new. Unfortunately. It's something that, as you said, many times is very much not taken into consideration a lot of things. And not just design, not just creativity overall.

But I think it's such an important topic to be talked about. So... how did you approach that? What do you ended up talking about?

Catarina: So my main goal was, through visual metaphors and like, set design compositions, to portray these various topics around the gender gap. From motherhood, to the pay gap, to the rankings that I was just talking about... to many other things like this. That little bias of women being called, aggressive a lot more than men, for example. It's like a certain tone of voice sometimes make a man assertive and it makes women bossy.

And... and more. Like, I also have a photo that, it's one of my favorites that is about the importance of having mentors. Of having, like... Women in top positions, so that younger women and, and students can have references and, and people to look up to. Because I think you cannot be what you can... No. You can't be what you can see. So...

Bruno: Yeah, that sentence makes a lot of sense. Yeah.

Catarina: Yeah. And for example, me in Portugal, seeing only men creative directors, it was not... it is not like a very motivating scenario, you know? And I know like, in Spain it's very similar, for example. It is changing, but there's still a lot to do.

Another photo, the main photo of my project, I just wanted to represent the importance of giving voice to women. So as teachers, when talking in conferences, as curators, as jury members... And then again, so that younger women can have people to look up to, that... that look like them. Yeah.

Bruno: And you feel like you didn't have many of those roles in your life? Or do you feel like, you found the women in your life that could be that when you need it?

Catarina: Yeah. I always had like, one or two, or three references, but most of them just international, you know? Even in school, in my master's in Barcelona, I had one teacher that was a woman. And I had like 10 or more that were men.

I think that... that really can not happen because, then you don't relate to, you now?

Bruno: Yeah! Like... and that's, that's an issue for me because, I honestly... and any man can say this, we can't relate as much as we would love to. The ones, at least that want to relate. But, but it's difficult. Like, the role of... of your, gender in what your job is, should be none at the end of the day. It shouldn't have to do with how well do you do on your job. How well do you represent whatever you need to do in your job. And it's... it's hard to see, and to talk about this topic because it's way broader than just a specific area or what's not.

But for me, for example, I, again, I tend to, to not see that as much. And then...

Catarina: Yeah. But that's normal, I think. Because you don't need that for your confidence.

Bruno: Yeah. That's a little bit... yeah. I would love that people wouldn't feel that, and that type of representation is super important. And even when you talk about Portugal, like, it's a universe that we know and many times we don't really think about it until we get to a point where it really needs to make sense, like why is this not happening?

I didn't, and you talk about your class and I didn't ... my class was actually very mixed, but it was multimedia, it wasn't design, like in the sense. And again, multimedia, is that an area where sometimes more men would apply to because it had more... more about tech and what's not. And it was typically more techie type of thing for a man than for a woman. And again, that's wrong. And we didn't... We did actually have a couple of teachers, in different areas, that were women. But I don't feel like that need for representation was ever talked about, which is wrong in so many ways.

Catarina: Yeah. But, you know. I actually only started realizing that fact that in Barcelona, almost all the teachers were men, when I started to think more about this topic. Because back then, I think it was happening. Okay. It could influence how I see the field and how I see my possibilities. But I wasn't thinking exactly about that.

And I think always one thing... influences the other. I... one thing I see is that I think maybe also, sometimes women don't accept as muchto... to talk, as teachers, as whatever. But I think it's because they are not used to see people like them talking.

Bruno: Talking on those roles.

Catarina: Oh, yeah.

Bruno: So it turns into this cycle of lack of representation, that leads to lack of representation. Which shouldn't. But yeah, I can see why that becomes a reality.

Catarina: One thing that never came out of my mind that happened like, three years ago or so, is that one of my favorite designers who is Leslie David.

She's from Paris. One time, she made this post saying that she was invited to talk at a conference and she said, no. And then the... the owner. It's not the owner, the... whatever. The owner of the conference told her that most women, they invite don't accept at first and he kind of convinced her to go, you know. And then she was super unhappy to have accepted it.

But I was like: "So. Someone that is one of my favorite designers is afraid to do it. So, she kind of thinks she has nothing to say, when I think she is one of the people with probably more things to say", you know?

It made me a bit sad, but I think it's super important that she posted it. You know? Because it made me, and probably many more women think about this.

Bruno: Look. That I get. Even the feeling.... I don't know. Even as a man sometimes, I see people... and I talk for myself because this project, for example, is something that I've been meaning to talk for a long time. I've been meaning to talk about this topic. And I ended up always delaying, and thinking there are people who have better voices than me, but then again, people weren't talking about it as much as I will hope so. So it took me a lot of effort and courage to actually start to do this. But I can only imagine for someone who's never seen someone even start doing it, how hard it should be. And I can only imagine, again, that's the hard part of it. I can only imagine, because I can't be that person, as directly as you are, or any other woman.

Catarina: Yeah. Yeah, I think all of us suffer a little bit of this kind of imposter syndrome. Right? But...

Bruno: Definitely.

Catarina: But yeah, of course. I think minorities are people that are not as used to see themselves doing that, suffer even even more.

Bruno: And the word, minorities is many times such a mislabeled thing. Women are not minorities in the world. The population is 50/50, if I'm not mistaken. With an increasing number of women according to statistics. So in theory, we are the minority. So... Yeah, it's a very frustrating topic to talk about. And talking about, for example, even the concept of minorities and other, another groups, you've thought about it when it comes to women and the gap that you felt as being a woman in the industry.

But do you think that that's something that also applies to other parts of the industry? Other people?

Catarina: Yeah. For sure. It applies maybe even more, you know? And I think when you... maybe when you join too, it's even even worse. For example, a women that is a women, but also Latina, for example, there are a lot of statistics that say it's even more difficult for them. Yeah.

I actually see it's it's getting a bit better because I was just looking at Young Guns, finalists, and I see so many different people from everywhere. Much more of a diverse group than I have... I had imagined to see in this kind of rankings, you know? And I was super happy to see that. And I think it's super necessary that we have these people, with these different backgrounds.

I think the design world is starting to be a bit saturated. And we do need those different views. For sure.

Bruno: Yeah. The point of views, different point of views, definitely are needed. I do think... and look, again, as a guy that entered the startup world and the tech world about six, five years ago. I do think that when you look at tech, there's a jumpstart there where... with people trying to make the difference. Although, a lot of people are just saying it. And a lot of companies. And they've seen the backlash as of recently, and it's not. But I see that there's an effort there. But it's so different.

Like, In the States, where it's an agenda that is being pushed overall, and I say it as an agenda, not as a negative thing is actually a really good thing to create that space. But for example, in Europe, or in countries like ours, I don't see it as much. Or even in different areas of design and everything.

Like you come from more from an agency world, and I've always seen, like, many people. Men getting jobs at the agency world would always be easier. But then even if women were better, I always got, I got a lot of colleagues of mine that were treated very poorly through years of work with agencies. And that really hurts me. So, I don't know. It's, it's very specific to the region, but it also creates so much.

Catarina: Yeah, I was saying that about the Young Guns, but I'm sure that in these rankings, that are about to come out very soon, of Clube dos Criativos, it should be the same as it's always was.

Bruno: To change this takes time. But people like you, doing this type of things and talking about these topics might affect that change. That's the whole goal of things, right?

Catarina: Yeah. Actually, I was super happy that a lot of creative directors I know, have seen my project and. Man creative directors in Portugal specifically. Yeah, I hope... I know they liked it. I hope there were kinda moved by it as well.

I think, you know, it's never a bad intention from someone specifically, it's just the collect collective group that is not very aware of, of many of these topics. Because you were talking about the agencies, and something that moved me to do this project was actually some conversations that Clube de Criativos was, was having. It was this online event where... that they hosted in the beginning of the pandemic. Where they had one creative director inviting another one for a conversation. And then in the next conversation they invited one from the previous one to invite another one. And it was like a white, 50 years old men invitinga white, 50 years old, man, invitinga white, 50 years old man...

Bruno: And you see the pattern there.

Catarina: And yeah, and I was just always hoping that they would invite someone different, and when they did invite a white, 50 years old woman, actually, I found the conversation to be different from the other ones that were all very similar between them, you know?

But it happened once in like 20 conversations. And I've met some of those men and they are super nice, you know?

Bruno: Yeah, but they all have the same background. They all have the same type of experience...

Catarina: But I was wondering how no one of them really thought about that, you know? They didn't think that someone young... and not just someone, like a lot of young people would be watching that pattern, you know? Over and over again. And yeah. And actually they were saying like, we invited another woman, but she didn't accept. Like, there's not only one other woman.

Bruno: Exactly.

Catarina: There are many other. And I think it's visible, so I don't know.

Bruno: There's just a lot of voices out there that are eager to be heard, but at the same time are afraid to talk. And it's a big issue at the end of the day. And, I don't know. And looking at the cycle of what agencies... how agencies work, how people become creative directors. Hoe they then meet other creative directors and there's this club... and well, if Mad Men taught us anything from how these, all, everything started, and let's look at it with a critical eye, because it's still a fiction. It was a really weird, misogynistic universe in the way that it worked. And we were talking about women getting into the industry back in the sixties, in the States, which is a completely different environment than it is, for example, in Portugal, where we were still under dictatorship and things were different. But it's like, we've caught up in so many things, and on those levels, we still struggle a lot with catching up with the ages. What should be a more balanced...

Catarina: Yeah. You know, I think in Portugal, women were only given the right to vote, equal to men, like in 1968. So it was just a bit more than 50 years ago, and 50 years is very little, but... yeah, I think I see some changes, but I see also a lot of efforts that could be happening that... that are, are not happening.

But, I believe that our generation can make it a lot better as well. Because then again, it's like only 50 years since...

Bruno: Since everything started changing. Yeah. And if you talk about that in that sense, 50 years ago, people were acting like this and that, you just talked about the bunch of 50 year old white dudes talking with each other so that they are still remnants of that time.

Catarina: Exactly.

Bruno: Even if some of them are not aware of it, which many people are not. Not because they don't want to be, but just because it was always like that for them. And it's really hard to change. Like. Even personally it's really are to change in any type of matter. At the end of the day.

Catarina: And I think that the problem is also, when you are a creative director, you also suffer from other kind of gaps, you know? I was listening, I don't know if you know the podcast from Hey Studio, it's a Women at Work.

Bruno: I don't know, but now I'll definitely look for it.

Catarina: It's super cool. And there was this episode episode with Ver├▓nica Fuerte. Which is... who is the owner of Hey Studio. And she started the studio though, in the beginning she had two colleagues that were men. And so she would go to interviews and people would ask like, where are your partners? Like your business partners, you know? So thinking that she wasn't the one owning Hey Studio.

Bruno: The one that founded the whole thing.

Catarina: Yeah, men... you know? Actually I think she's like this super-woman who is a mother, who has her studio, who now has a shop in Barcelona with coffee, and she sells her posters and like all these other things she does like so much, but still she goes through that. You know? It's crazy.

Bruno: And it's interesting that you use the word supe... super-woman because, it's also a lot, a lot of things that are expected classically, from women. That, when they are able to do that, and then a bit more, that we really need to give them value because the one... the few things that are expected, or the few things that they end up doing because well, life made them do, or what's not, are many times way harder than men's have to do.

But it's still like, it's changing again. You, as you said, my generation, your generation, which is... our generation basically. It's still... it's getting to a point where you can't see that difference as much. You can see that people like co-parent much more, they don't have that thing where it's a person job to be the cooker, the cleaner, the what's not. Those things that had to do with having a life, regular life, not even the job, like actual job, what you do to earn money, but owning your home and taking care of your space.

That is not like a gender identified job type of thing nowadays. But. It's still bends a lot on, on one side. And she is definitely a great example of someone to just outcome all of that stigma, all of that bias and just made herself who she wanted to be, which is great. I love Hey Studio. And all the things that they created since. But yeah! And they just had... like, it was what? Their 15th birthday? 10th birthday? I don't know, they had a anniversary this year, I don't remember which one it was. And thinking...

Catarina: Yeah, I think it's probably 15. Or 14th, I don't know.

Bruno: Yeah. But the face of that studio, the core of it, it's still her. And all the work that she has done to get to that point. And hearing that people were expecting the other guys to show up. Like, she couldn't be the core of it. That's like... it's so painful.

Catarina: But they actually thought she wasn't, you know? This was in the start of the studio...

Bruno: Yeah, of course. Of course. But still it's... it doesn't, it still hurts anyways. Because...

Catarina: Yeah. Yeah. But she did overcome all that. Yeah. The wishes. Yeah.

Bruno: But it's interesting. Because, at the end of the day, and I said this before, but it becomes more a battle about who we are as humans and not just who we are in a specific field. And the fact that we need to open doors for everyone to do everything and feel like things are not just plainly for specific person A, person B, gender A, gender B, race A, race B, or whatever.

And talking about the issues, and really presenting them in different ways and... even turning them into metaphors like you did. Many times helps decode those things, which I think is super important. The language that you use to talk about these topics is very relevant, at the end of the day.

Catarina: Yeah. I actually think it's a bit subtle. Like some of them people have to...

Bruno: Yeah , of course.

Catarina: To kind of.. And it probably can even get different meanings, meanings from them, but... yeah. It was the way that I found to represent...

Bruno: At the end of the day, your metaphors are part art, are part of what your mind unravels that... that to be. You also need some descriptions as you would always need with some pieces of artwork, and it's not. But the fact that you're turning them into such strong visual messages, is also part of the conversation. It's also part of simplifying how people should look at those things, and how it could help them understand those things.

Or even think them... think of them in different ways. One of the images that you have where you see a little pawn looking at a giant queen, that's a really great representation. Being able to look yourself in the mirror and aspire to be something better,it's something that everyone should have the.... I was going to say the will, not the will,... the capacity to do so. Everyone should have the chance to look in the mirror and aspire to something. And it's many times something that we don't think of, if we don't get shown the message you see, if we don't talk about it.

Catarina: Yeah, I think that that's... the point is actually all there because, for... What I represented there is that for you to... to see yourself as a queen, you have to have other queens around you. And you have to see other queens in order to be able to see yourself there as well. I think that's actually where the power is to change the cycle, you know? Because that's what young people, and people that are now in university needs to see. They need to be confident. By seeing that around them.

Bruno: Yeah. The role of representation is never to be underestimated. For sure.

Look, I think everything that you've just talked about, talks a lot aboutyour experience, but also about the people, and the things that you've learn from and heard from. But now I would like to talk a little bit about the different part of the conversation. It'd be the part of the topic that it's more on the podcast less on your project. Sorry about that.

But it's more about your, your vision of the world as a designer. Even on top of this, because this is already part of how you see you, and your work, and your life, and your career in... with the filter. But, how do you feel that being a designer, and have learnt all of this, changes your perspective of the world? How do you see the world? Do you feel like it affects the way that you see it and you interact with it?

Catarina: Yeah. It's funny that question, because actually one of the first things I was told when I started university in Lisbon, by teachers. Was that, as designers we see things a bit differently. Because they say we're not meant only to look, but also to see, and to analyze what we are seeing. And to try to get something from it. Which makes sense, but I think, like, in every different profession, in, in every different job and area, you always get to see something that others don't. You know? Yeah, but of course it's fun that... That being a designer makes me also the person I am. And makes me see things a bit differently. Yes. Of course.

And in this topic specifically, of course, craving for a more diverse creative industry, also makes me crave to a more diverse world in general, and reality in general. Yeah.

I dunno if that's what we're kind of asking.

Bruno: I'm not, I'm not looking for perfect answers. I'm looking at. Yeah, I'm not looking for perfect answers, I'm looking for the real answers and what people think. Because at the end of the day. This is also a mirror of my personal experience and what I expect to take from these conversations. To learn with you. To see if people have different views of the world.

Many times designers have a very similar experience in the way that you look at things, and you kind of, as your teachers would say, analyze things, look at them with a different eye and perspective. And I get that feedback a lot, but every now and then people see it a little bit differently and your, for example, was with the gender gap which is very necessary. It needs to be analyzed. It needs to be looked at, and look at, and find out where things are.

For me, for example, is as I look at the way that things work and I always try to figure out why don't they work any other way? Up until this point in my life, technology has evolved so much, but I still get mad because when I'm looking at a window and I'm trying to use a shortcut for a tool, but it's not on that window, it's on the left window. I need to click it, that gets me... pain. Physical and physical pain, but that's because I look at those things and I analyzed why don't they work? 'Cause I think they should work.

And that's the thing like. Yeah. Like when, when something doesn't work or it feels like it doesn't work properly, it kind of aches. It kind of gives you this: "oh man. Why?" And then, in my experience at least, I get to a point where it's like: "I would love to have the capacity to change this, or build something differently". But then I am just one person, I can't do everything that I feel that the world should be different.

Catarina: Yeah. Actually that's exactly what, what I feel about this topic. I try to do my part, but I'm nothing in this big, big, big world, you know? But I believe that if everyone does their part, we can get there. Just like with you. If everyone tries to notice the button that should be there, or there, or there like, we will get there faster I think.

Bruno: Yeah, definitely. And I really do hope that people, getting to that trend of sharing ideas and not being afraid of collaborating in ideas and, and topics because... you're not nothing by the way, you're, you're an active voice and that's a very important. Having more active voices is very relevant.

But then also. And I'm going to take a bit of a... a different guest on my podcast said this. We should overcome the idea that things need to be original and need to be done by, like, you can never do something that other people have done. You can reinforce that idea, you can be an active voice supporting that idea. You'll have with your own way, or you'll be part of a team that does in a different way or what's not. But at the end of the day, as a group, as a community, as a bigger voice than just one person, we tend to be more effective, I would say.

Like, you would really get to what you want by yourself. It can, it can happen, but it will most definitely happen if you get it with others. And...

Catarina: And they can start a conversation, right. I think.

Bruno: Yeah. Break down those barriers and just move things ahead and that's it.

No, but it's... it's a good way to look at things. And again. Having people like you starting that part of the conversation, putting your voice out there. Giving your experience. Giving your vision on how things could and should be, it's important that it's relevant for sure. And you have your unique point of view, as a mathematician will have their unique point of view, as a physicist or even someone that works like collecting trash and what's not. And if you look at the pandemic, you did your job during the pandemic. And for example, many of the most important people during the pandemic in the entire world were the people that were doing those basic things that we always take for granted.

Right? Collecting trash. Taking care. I don't know. Police officers helping people on the streets or Firefigthers or healthcare workers and what's not. Those things that we take for granted as a society, needed to be taken care of and needed to be.... we needed to be focused on them and give them the proper value and we had to stop as a world to actually look at those things.

Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. And not just good, the bad too. Because there were a lot of bad things happening outside the pandemic. But well, 2020 was a weird year.

Catarina: Oh man.

Bruno: Okay. Look. And then I guess now I have my final question, and you answer it as you will. But the question is always the same: do you believe, or do you think that design is for everyone? And if so, in what way?

Catarina: I think it should be, and it must be. I think it's still not equal for, for everyone. But I believe we are in a good way to get there. I think it's awesome that there are free tools, and that it doesn't matter that much for a designer, to be a designer if he has a course where they studied this.

Like, that doesn't matter if he knows how to do his work and does it well. And can show it. And I think that's awesome. And it's something that doesn't happen as much in other, other jobs. Um, And yeah, I think everyone can be a designer. And we'll get to a point where it's equal for everyone.

Bruno: Okay. I don't think everyone should be a designer. I think everyone should benefit from design. It's different, not just as a user, but also as someone that can use it as a tool. So my point of view at the end of the day is like, design, much like writing and doing some math, could be part of what you learn in school and what's not. I don't... for example, I believe in the value of art, but in the Portuguese education system, many times you would probably benefit from something like a design class in one of your years, because it helps you talk about problem solving. Talk about communication. How to better communicate your ideas. Things like that. And we don't do that. We still stay very strongly in those sciences that are very industrial, that are very structured.

And I do believe that design is for more than just designers and pro designers. And I say designers and pro designers, because I know there are people that are designers by core, but they don't work as designers. Pro designers have a very different need and role in this thing.

Catarina: In that sense. Of course, I think we should design for everyone and our design, designs are usually used in a very... in the daily life, you know? And for that specific reason, it should be for everyone. Yes, for sure.

Bruno: No. Look. Everyone has their own point of view. Everyone focuses on the different things. But the question. But the question is always open because of that, because I know that the bias that you have in your mind is going to focus on different things. Most people will think about the design for designers. My point of view is design for the world, and not just for the job, because I do believe that design is just more than a job, as like being able to read, write or do math is also for more than a job specifically. You don't learn to read and become a writer. You learn to read and to write, and you're an actual functioning member of society and that's it. It's not more.

It, helped us evolve as humankind, being able to communicate through writing. If not, like, the internet would be a very dull place filled with pictograms or weird videos, or something, I don't know. Or I don't know if we would ever have Internet or something. Right? If not everyone could be able to communicate as we are, at the pace that we are right now, we wouldn't be here.

Catarina: Imagine.

Bruno: Yes, that's it. Imagine... So I love to imagine the world where, if everyone had the chance to learn a lot of the things that we've learned about how to build, and design things for audiences. How to think of ideas, and unravel them. How to be more creative, how to think outside the box. How to create solutions for problems, which is very much what nowadays UI, and UX, and Experience Design is for. How's that would affect the world. Right? And that's my point of view at the end of the day. Is, could we benefit from not gatekeeping the idea that, a certain person needs to be this or that to be a designer or to use design. And not be so snobbish about it because... I lost count of the amount of people that came to me like: "oh Canva is not a design tool" or something. It is! At the end of the day it is. It's just that design tool that it was built by someone that wants to facilitate non-designers to use design.

Catarina: And it's not impossible to do great design there.

Bruno: Exactly.

Catarina: You have the typography, the colors, the shapes.

Bruno: Yeah, it's the same as everything else. And the like, while we were at school, most likely someone told you, for you to be a designer, you need to learn Adobe. And that's it. They forget that like 10 years before, probably someone would be telling them out to use Corel, or 20 years before they would be learning how to use a pencil, paper, a bunch of rulers, and what's not.

And I think that's, that's the beauty of it.

Catarina: It's evolving, yeah. It never stops evolving.

Bruno: Yeah. And we as humans never stop evolving and, not being afraid to lose our jobs. To those things, because I don't think we're going to lose. We're just gonna evolve.

Catarina: Design is always going to be necessary. Like... And yeah, like.... we can not be replaced by machines on every aspect of design. But I'm sure.

Bruno: Yeah. At the end of the day, we won't be. And I think that's the thing. Like we should not be afraid of having things that can simplify the life, and can help us get to a certain point where parts of our job, part of our, whatever you want to call it, are somewhat meaningless to still waste time with it. Then that's the thing. If we hadn't createcomputerized software we wouldn't be able to design as we do nowadays. But there are parts of the world where people don't have that access too, and they still do their own versions of design. They still create their things and, that's a lot of what I want to talk about here.

Catarina: Yeah. It's a constantly evolving field, and I think we should embrace the changes.

Bruno: Yeah. Okay. Look, Catarina thank you very much for being here today with me, talking about your project.

Catarina: Thank you so much for inviting me. It was a pleasure.

Bruno: No worries in the end. I'm glad and happy that I can spread a little bit about what you talked about, spread a little bit about this topic, because I really think your message is a very valid one and one that should be more widely talked about than it already is nowadays.

Catarina: Yes. And thank you for giving... giving this topic a voice, and all the other topics you are exploring, because I think it's super important, and you don't see yet that many things like this. So just, keep going, and I will be here to listen to every episode.

Bruno: Yeah. Well, thank you very much. And thank you everyone that is listening to this episode.

See you all next week for another episode of Design is for Everyone. Bye.


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