unless otherwise stated: all images own images 2013

Google maps Oriximiná [05.11.2013]
During the empirical testing phase in Brazil in 2013, a participatory building workshop was conducted. The workshop took place on 27.+28.11.2013 and was held on the premises of the Oriximiná Brazil nut proccessing plant of the Exportadora Florenzano, where the nuts coming in from the forest are cleaned, sorted, shelled and dried. The company forms part of the NoPa Puxirum research collective.

The factory only operates during and after the harvest season (shown above in an image from 2012) and was not operating during the time of our workshop, which gave us the opportunity to utilize the space for the preparations and the workshop.

Preparations for the workshop

Visit to an escola florestal, to get an insight into traditional mandioca root processing.

Trying out a traditional manual pressing system for sugar cane.

Collecting ouriços (wooden nut capsules) in a Brazil nut harvesting area in floresta nativa in the Oriximiná region. The nuts are typically rounded up at strategically convenient places such as paths or rivers. There they are splitted up with machetes. The nuts are gathered in bags and transported to the processing plants, while the fruit capsules remain rounded up at these relatively accessible locations.

Workshop: The millstone

The mould was made of recycled plywood and parts of a plastic water tank. These tanks are a common piece of domestic fresh water storage in Latin America.

Workshop: The Briqueting Press

The workshop started with a few prepared kits for briquete presses, based on the design of Engineers without Borders. During the workshop, the design was explored and adapted according to the findings of the tests runs and the suggestions of the participants.