Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín-Don Luis Traffic Signal

At Design Interviews

(Excerpt) Interview with Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Frank Scott: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : The main principle of Don Luis is its symbolic code for people (an instructive for being a model citizen). It is different to others due to their development based from a sociocultural analysis and not from aesthetic guidelines merely. In other words seeks to transfer the good behavior and the idea of security implemented by the Medellin Metro to the streets. Let´s remember that the decisions we adopt by nature are taken in a rational (10%) and subconscious manner (90%). For example: “I respect Don Luis traffic signal because of it´s clear to understand where I should cross the street due to its form and color”: rational decision; “I respect Don Luis in order to be a model citizen, on the contrary, I might be rejected by society”: subconscious decision. .Frank Scott: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Initially we wanted to change the people mentality as pedestrians and also reduce the raised accidental figures. We noticed since smart cameras began to function in the city the human behavior also changed, and also we took into account that definitely people change if you work according to their insights or cultural codes. For that reason we adopted the “Metro Culture” (developed by the Medellín Metro) to the streets. .Frank Scott: What are your future plans for this award winning design?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Our plans are to adopt Don Luis to each place in the world in where pedestrian vulnerability is a real problem for society development; a society with good habits is a great asset to humanity. .Frank Scott: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : The design was developed in 5 months comprising the steps of definition of the topic, research, problem statement, hypothesis, definition of objectives, drawing sketches, 3D modeling, prototype development, preparation of mechanical simulations, validation in the public space, and final details. .Frank Scott: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : As we mentioned, the strongest reason why we continue developing this design (that started as an academic project), was for wanting to respond the question: Why people do not implement when crossing the streets the excellent behavior (The Metro Culture) they have when they use the Medellin Metro? .Frank Scott: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : The design was produced but not in a serialized manner, the aim goal is to spread this idea to countries with high accidental figures of pedestrians, so, if any third party is interested in the design we are open to negotiate, further when we know that governments are interested in reducing the mortality figures for the welfare of society and to reduce public spending. .Frank Scott: What made you design this particular type of work?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Our ethical point of view of design as a tool for social development, as Ezio Manzini says, designers must not continue generating so much garbage (products without meaning), and we noticed it should be focusing on basic needs for people and not focusing on product aesthetics merely. Hence, we defined at the beginning that Don Luis would be our contribution to the world. .Frank Scott: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Yes, Juan Pablo Gaviria, industrial designer that contributed with technical aspects of the character to take into account in the public space, and David Ortega, a publicist that gave us opinions related to the culture analysis. .Frank Scott: Who is the target customer for his design?. Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín : Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.[ End of Excerpt: Read complete interview with Daniel Ricardo Villa Balbín on Don Luis Traffic Signal at design-interviews.com ]

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