Little Carnaval is a set of mini figures that represent the most important cultural manifestation of Brazil: the Carnival. This project aims not only to promote knowledge of popular culture through playful toys, but also to inspire the new generations to take pride in their own rich and plural culture.
The main objective of this project was to present the Brazilian national culture abroad on its essence, showing its aspects and characteristics in the most genuine way possible.
My greatest motivation for this project was to rescue the national culture and inspire the new generations to respect and feel honored of being part of this rich and plural culture.
While developing this project, one of the design strategies was to come up with a toy that would give the possibility of different configurations, promoting a playful activity. However, the toy also had to be minimalist enough in order to allow the kids to create their own plot and interpretation of the carnival.
I chose to make the heads of the characters in wood in order to allow a natural touch to the object. The prototypes presented are made of plastic, but the plan for the future mini figures would be to manufacture them in wood and paint according to the colors that represent each samba schools.
The idea is to have different sets that represents different schools and the customer would be able to buy their favorite one or create personal collections.
After defining the goals of this project, I began my ideation exploring forms by hand using clay for physical modeling. Having the preliminary forms, the shapes were refined by 2d hand drawing sketches.
Since I formalized the idea of the figures and props shapes, the parts were 3d modeled on Solidworks and 3d printed. The 3d printed pieces were sanded, filled with spackling and spray painted several times until the surfaces were smooth.
The project was launched during the carnival season in Brazil and attracted the Brazilian public. People felt connected with the faithful way the project portrays the culture.
I learned from this project that, deep down, people care how their culture is presented abroad and empathize with the importance of carnival for the construction of the national identity. People have felt connected with the mini figures and realized that this is part of what they are.
While the country’s authorities try to delegitimize cultural manifestations such as the carnival, many people like me try to exalt the most beautiful in the carnival: the warm and inclusive feeling that the party brings with it.
The carnival that happens in the city of Rio de Janeiro, better known as the Sapucaí Carnival, is famous for the parades of the samba schools on the avenue. The parade is composed by different sections which have their own characteristics, but together they present the plot chosen by the samba school for that year.
Each mini figure represents a fundamental character of the parade and its peculiarities in terms of costume shape and size, and props.