Do you know where does the name Wopala come from?

“Where does the name Wopala come from?” is one of the two more usual questions we are asked in our day to day sincs we founded ethical design studio.

(The second question is “What does ethical design mean?” and you can read the answer in the First Ethical Design Manifest.)

In fact, the word Wopala doesn’t have any meaning, neither does it come from any specific place. It comes from of a process (that we lived as eternal) to define our name.

We have needes a time to understand why did it cost us so much, especially when defining the name of initiatives (naming), is part of our work. A type of project that we enjoy, that we develop with  methodology and of which we often get results that make us feel very proud. The QiPoint, volavolaina, G0 Num3er5 and Monday Happy Monday  projects are good examples of naming developed by us.

Our own naming was a very complex process, just because we were emotionally involved with the project that we had to represent. It was very enriching also to be able to put us in the shoes of  people for which we usually work who live this full path of doubts, worries and insecurities when they have to make a decision about any of our naming proposals. 

Main thing for us was that our name would not come from any known word and, at the same time, that it would have a sonority that transmitted a mood, an emotion or a feeling that was open so that each person could include her own vision and point of view. 

Therefore, what we usually do when we are asked where Wopala coms from is to  answer with another question: “What is it that it transmits you?”. We often we get answerssuch as: surprise, discovery, positive emotion, illusion, roller coaster… We are happy to see how the answers are alligned with our original idea.

The past week we have lives an exception, when the notary with whom we have formalised the Public Writing of our cooperative  said us that our name sounded like the name of any Ikea furniture piece!

On the other hand, some of our friends have included the word to their usual vocabulary saying, for example: “I am having a Wopala time!”, or simply exclaiming “Wopala!” when their children raise after tripping. Somebody explained us that being a child, his parents would say “Wopala” when taking their hands to pull him in order to do a long jump. They sang it extending “o”: Wooopala!

Anecdotes aside, now that timehas already passed and we have had the opportunity to develop a good listi of ethical projects, we have discovered new layers of meaning that can apply to our name thanks to the experience. An important part of our projects lies in accompanying people that want to promote ethical projects. We help them, no only designingn what they need which is the final part of the project, , but in defining which is their aim, what is it they need to improve or how they can configure the message and the texts of their graphic communication pieces. 

For us, from the day we discovered the importance of this first (more strategic) part of our work, the name of Wopala reflects a change of state, a new consciousness, a development, a mind-opening process, an improvement towards a new clearer aim. 

And above all, it reflects whaterver it is that its sonority inspires you. Do you want to help us to expand the layers of information of our name sharing your vision with us? What does the name of Wopala inspire you?

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