Roxana Martínez to bring back the incredible vernacular design from the streets of Bogotá on the WDCD stage
An image sells more than a thousand words
‘We have to be careful what we consider bad design,’ Colombian graphic designer Esteban Ucrós told the WDCD audience in 2012, while presenting loads of images from the incredible collection of vernacular design brought together on the website Popular de lujo. Given the public’s reaction at the time, we’re extremely happy to have Popular de lujo back on stage in São Paulo, this time represented by Roxana Martínez.
Roxana Martínez co-founded Popular de lujo (popular wealth) with Juan Duque and Esteban Ucrós to document the graphic design of the city around the – the gráfica popular of hand-drawn commercial signs and murals made by lower class citizens.
Vernacular design has been a long-time topic of interest for graphic designer Martínez. In 2014 she finished her master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2014 with a study entitled ‘An Image Sells More Than a Thousand Words. Still Lives in Fruit Shops of Bogotá: Design, Consumption and Culture’ for which she was awarded with a Laureate Thesis Award for excellent student research.
Neglected cultural heritage
Since 2001 Popular de lujo has presented exhibits, workshops and lectures in different cities around the world, gathering a rich collection of original works and photographs of a form of cultural heritage that is rarely appreciated as such. A signature feature of the work of Popular de lujo is going beyond documentation to build close relationships with the people who produce these graphics. Populardelujo aims to make their work and craft properly and worthily recognized.
After many museography and branding projects for Colombian educational and cultural institutions, Martínez currently is part of the Design Department at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá.