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An Invitation to Smile

An Invitation to Smile
Lourenço Bustani


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Vila Madalena is a well-known neighborhood in São Paulo, Brasil,  famous for its artist studios, galleries, bars, restaurants, and cultural centers. A true panoply of humanity walks its buzzing streets every day. PSFK associate Mandalah, a behavioral trends and innovation boutique headquartered in Vila Madalena, wanted to contribute to this community spirit, and decided to turn its front gate into a canvas of words and phrases to inspire passers-by.

These range from quotes from Mahatma Gandhi (“Be the change you want to see in the world.”), to words in Sanskrit (like sat nam, meaning “in search of true identity”, or shanti, meaning “peace”), to friendly reminders (like “drink water” and “look at the birds”), and verbal totems (like “respect” and “happiness”).

The messages seek to encourage us all to look again and see ourselves as people and citizens, triggering an exercise in self-reflection with the potential to expand the possibilities before us, if not change our course altogether. At the very least, the street looks prettier and more cheerful now, thanks to the work of the Estudio Colletivo designers.

Photos by Igor Botelho

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