At most conferences, organizers hand out water bottles, tote bags, and other boring tchotchkes. At Favela, an event put on by a Brazilian school of creativity called Perestroika, participants were given rolling papers upon arriving. And when I asked the creators why they decided to hold the event, their response was “To have a big party afterwards!”
That’s not entirely true. Since 2007, Perestroika has developed over 70 courses on every creativity-related topic you could imagine. There’s a course on career management in the music business. There are multiple courses on fashion (the business of fashion, fashion campaigns, image construction). There’s a street art course that takes place in the streets of Sao Paulo. More of a philosopher? Take the class on “consumption anthropology in the post-modern world.”
During the portion of Favela that I sat in on, speakers spoke in TED-like solo talks, some going on for an hour or more. Guy Trefler, an Israeli graphic designer and animator, was one of the more entertaining speakers, with an interactive tutorial on how to achieve his style, exemplified by this video:
Trefler also made an amusing and nonsensical promo for Favela:
Alex Bortoluzzi, a game designer and producer for games like Spider Man, Call of Duty, and James Bond, recounted the history of video games through his personal experiences, and offered tips to those in the audience looking to get started in the industry.
Other speakers throughout the two-day event discussed the art of mixology, how to get more creative using theoretical physics, and how to teach yourself animation.
Today, Perestroika operates in seven Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, and Curitiba. The Favela event was the organization’s pilot experiment in going global. If it goes well, Perestroika may roll out variations on its San Francisco program elsewhere, though there are no plans to bring Perestroika’s traditional workshops to other countries–yet.
Check out some of the school’s current offerings here.