Banana fiber and its potential for socially sustainable innovation through design


  • Beatriz Futlik Mariani
  • Cyntia Santos Malaguti de Sousa



design, craftwork, banana fiber, socially sustainable innovation


Which key questions should design be addressing in a context of rapid environmental degradation and social inequality? Prompted by this question, the present article investigates reflective practice (Schön, 1983) and its potential for socially sustainable innovation when applied to an experience with a banana-fiber craftworker located in Brazil's southern region, in a town known for its tourist industry. Our reflections here are based on a literature review and fieldwork visits to focus on aspects arising from qualitative, participant-observational, dialogic research. Further research questions are posed in terms of exploring the socially sustainable characteristics of a product-development approach to this natural fiber and related craftwork in Brazil, aligned with empowerment-driven design practices to generate new products and services with higher levels of socially sustainable potential.