Gabriela Bustamante

Gabriela Bustamante is a Mexican born designer and teacher who lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. From 2006-2011 Bustamante co-ran the design studio Latin Sisters Design Productions (LSDP), with the goal of tackling social issues through adaptable social projects within the city. Local stakeholders, including the local government would approach her team to address problems within communities and they would develop creative strategies for engaging with the residents.

“Desycling” was a series of workshop-style projects where desycle coaches were trained to teach participants how to make a desycled object. During the sessions, participants could make a variety of art, craft and design objects from waste materials, including plastics. The idea was that by educating local coaches in methods of sustainable practice, this knowledge would remain in the area and continue to be shared after the project had ended.

Even though the LSDP has ceased operations in the last few years, Bustamante continues to address issues of sustainable practice through her teaching and other projects she is invited to participate in. In 2013 she took part in the Freezing Favela exhibition, hosted by Mediamatic, a cultural institution and public event site. During this project, Bustamante invited children to make objects like jewellery and jump ropes from discarded plastic bags.

Children making art and craft objects during a "Desycle" workshop

Children making art and craft objects during a “Desycle” workshop

Raincoats "Desycled" from plastic bags

Raincoats “Desycled” from plastic bags

Desycled necklace made with one plastic bag

Desycled necklace made with one plastic bag

All images belong to the artist and are used with permission. To learn more about Gabriel and her projects, follow the link to her website.

A big thank you to Gabriela for her insight into her practice during the Polymers in Action thesis research and writing stages.

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