“you can’t talk about the damage companies do to the planet, you’re doing”, says the designer and artist Ernesto Oroza (Havana, 51). Reuse is presented as an antidote to the weather emergency. However, in a consumerist society, it is sometimes more convenient (or the only feasible option) to buy new appliances instead of repairing the old ones. The cubans know what it is to not throw anything away and to give free rein to his imagination to give a second life to objects. Oroza has decades of experience studying how the shortage arising out of the embargo cuban —severe in the nineties after the fall of the USSR— has hybridized the design on the island. Between your slide looks a fan with a base of old phone and blades made with a vinyl record. To another drives the engine of a washing machine. It also shows lamps of kerosene up in soda cans and cars only, assembled with pieces of various brands.

Oroza was a professor at the Institute Polytechnic institute of Design of Havana, and led several cultural projects in Cuba. However, subsisted preparing 50 pies daily in the home, that sold, with his wife. He moved to Miami in 2007. What did crossing the border of Mexico, when his wife had already moved, pregnant, to the united States. From there it has been easier to disseminate their work at several points of the planet. In his resume highlights his stint as a visiting professor from the National School of Industrial Creation (l’ensci in Paris, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation in New York. The “resistance technology” is a concept coined by Oroza, which consists in challenging the opacity of the designs based on planned obsolescence. He argues that the design has to take into account the repair. The cuban experience gives meaning to its concept, although the designer runs away from the “fascination” from the island.

One of the objects documented by Oroza, a radio built on a carton of milk (2011). e. Oroza, g. Moreno.

“it is Not true that the designs of Apple to be so perfect. The first time I had a Mac I broke the charger and I saw that there was no screw or anything that would allow me to open it”, he explains. It had to break, fix it and re-put it all together with zeal. Perplexed, aware that she went to the technical service of the same brand to ask for a change of hard disk, and that once made the repair, gave the old. “There is that claim, to inquire, to ask questions, we cannot stay silent,” he says. And, if you have to open a mobile or any other appliance damaged, Oroza, emphasized: “There are many tutorials on YouTube”.

“Repair it seems now a thing of an exotic country in the Caribbean, but it was part of our cultures,” argues the designer, on a visit to Barcelona to participate in the Maker Faire, dedicated this year to the circular economy. “When it spoils something one becomes angry, but you need to know to channel this conflict,” he says. Is your advice to overcome the attitude of I want it now and I want it now. On the desire to yearn for the cutting-edge technology, reflects: “young people want a phone of last generation, because others have it. If we want to integrate to a community of consumers, since we do not act by necessity”. The father of three children, Oroza believes that this trend has to fight from her education: “When I tell my young son that leave the video game, he gets to do something creative: play the piano.”

A floor of a house split in two reflects the concept of and. oroza

The cuban artist has a comprehensive record of photographs of what he calls the “architecture of necessity”. Shows how they changed the buildings in his native country. Given the lack of new housing, plants, high ceilings divided in two. The entrance doors to the buildings multiplied, and, in some cases, won space to the street. Already in Miami, has continued to make similar observations in disadvantaged communities, cuban, haitian, colombian and venezuelan. “What changes is simply the materials. In Cuba, there were boxes of plastic milk or buckets of paint,” she explains, in reference to the materials reaprovechados. An example which highlights the “architecture of necessity” in Europe: the trash bags are transparent in the bins public to the risk of attack.

“Cuba is a monopoly capitalism of state”

“Not everyone in Cuba is a matter of the however, there is also a however internal” points Oroza. “The logical thing would have been that in the 90’s been provided to the population processes of self-production and not made”. According to him, the cuban regime has become a “capitalism of state monopoly”, because it is only the Government who imports goods and are “products of China, of very bad quality and damaging the environment.” “The cultural revolution has been betrayed”, he concludes. According to him, during the crisis people wanted to start small industries and they had to do it secretly, for example, with workshops of cast and injection plastic home, sometimes without the knowledge of the materials that were toxic and which are not.

Have a computer in Cuba is not easy, it has Oroza, and for years citizens have built from loose parts. Some young wove a network called SNET, initially from pulled cables from house to house, to play online and share content, an alternate Internet. Since wireless technology came to 30,000 people. “The State has regulated and now wants them to buy the computer to them to be able to access. A lot of people has been left out,” he explains. Several members of SNET staged something unusual: “Went to the ministry of communications to manifest and in Cuba you never see or a strike or anything. What reportaren everything on Twitter”. The so-called The Weekly Bundle is a 1TB hard drive every week is updated and the cubans are what can be copied by paying a dollar. “It is not known where it comes from, a lot of people believe it is controlled by the State.” Oroza says his sister, who lives in Cuba, many times you see the content of Netflix before him.


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