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Title: Mapping Portugal's design landscape: findings, challenges and future research directions
Author: Costa, Nina
Costa, Rui
Ribeiro, Marlene
Borges, Afonso
Branco, Vasco
Keywords: Design observation
Design research design research
Design education
Participatory approach
Issue Date: Oct-2023
Publisher: Politecnico di Milano
Abstract: The closure of the Portuguese Design Center in 2013, left Portugal with no instruments of mediation between the Portuguese design ecosystem and the socio-economic fabric. DesignOBS (Towards a design observatory in Portugal) - a research project aiming to identify, map and interpret the Portuguese design landscape (2019-2022), aimed to tackle this issue via the development and application of a distributed and participatory observation approach, that integrated the knowledge of local nuclei, namely, design schools, about certain vectors of the national design ecosystem (design companies, education, research, professional designers, users). The use of information design as an approach to interpret and materialize data resulted in open datasets about design in Portugal, infographics, dynamic augmented reality visualizations with an info-object, national design meetings, and design exhibitions. Based on these results, this article reflects about the challenges and limitations of the project. Moreover, reflections about the continuation of this collective endeavor are being tackled, first, at the country level, to find potential mechanisms and organizational infrastructure that could lever continuous observation and representation of design in Portugal in the future; and second, at the European level, to reflect on alternative strategies and actors that can support these actions in countries with similar conditions as Portugal – that is, with no specific entities dedicated to systematic design observation/representation. We found the role of design schools can be pivotal for the formation of an alternative organizational structure for design observation.
Peer review: yes
Appears in Collections:DeCA - Capítulo de livro
ID+ - Capítulo de livro

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