Martín Garrido Wins Big At Bienal Iberoamericana De Diseño With Por Mi Barrio App!

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

For a Los Angeles development shop to succeed, as in be the best, every person on that team has to be a rockstar.  That’s what Neon Roots is – a collection of rockstars.  We’re passionate about what we do and that spirit goes beyond the office.  When our team members aren’t on the clock, they’re taking on personal projects where their creativity is always being challenged… and many times rewarded.

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Our designer Martín Garrido won multiple prizes at the Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño.  To learn more about this amazing accomplishment, he was interviewed by our frontend developer and mad butcher Damian Cardozo.

Martín’s application Por Mi Barrio won in both the categories of Design of Services and Design & Innovation.  According to Martín, “The application works in connection to the internal government system of city reports like landfills, broken streets, sanitation, etc. I did the app with the DataUY Team who work with open data trying to improve citizen life.”

martín garrido The app allows for a direct connection between citizens in Montevideo and city officials in hopes of repairing or cleaning up parts of the city.  Martín continues, “Por Mi Barrio [does] not just receive notifications when the problem is solved but also intermedium statuses like ‘work in progress’ or ‘the date was changed’, etc. We don’t have precedents in the world with platforms like this, connected with Government systems.

The Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño included around 23 Latin American countries as well as Spain and Portugal.  All in all there were nearly 400 projects in all the many categories.  Martín was able to travel to Spain to represent DataUY alongside Daniel Carranza, who is skilled in Open Data and FixMyStreet (the platform where Por Mi Barrio was built).

When asked about traveling, Martín said, “The travel was good, I couldn’t sleep but I didn’t care. The jet lag was a bit annoying at the beginning. We didn’t sleep for 48 hrs (kind of). Something funny about the flight was Daniel wanted the Windows’ side and when we went to our seats we figured it didn’t have windows! The rest of the trip was funny and awesome!

Martín also spoke to a class about the design process in Art School in Spain, Escuela de Arte 10, which was another highlight of trip.  Although according to him neither teaching nor winning took precedent when asked which was a greater moment.  “I don’t have one, just the feeling that all this week was a ‘celebration’ about my professional life in all aspects. Was a big boost to keep pushing hard my work.”

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A bit of success is only pushing Martín to do even better in the future.  “I’m good and with a bit of pressure to keep working on the same way + improving day by day. Like I said before, enormous boost! But at the end, I’m still being the same person.

So a big congrats to Martín and his team!  And a special thanks to Damian for asking all the right questions.

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