In Europe, Design Centers and Associations are considered as key infrastructures to efficiently promote and represent the discipline. However, in some countries with a lower maturation of Design culture – such as the case of Portugal - there are no official actors fully dedicated to these activities. Previous research indicated Design schools as a potential alternative infrastructure to promote and represent Design, but further research is needed to understand what they can learn/adapt from the activities currently undertaken by Centers and Associations. This paper maps the European landscape looking in particular at BEDA (Bureaux of European Design Association) members. Based on these insights and recent infrastructuring literature, it develops adapted strategies for observation activities to test with Design schools in the Portuguese territory. The results obtained are a first step to bring countries with lower maturation of design culture under the EU Design Ecosystem radar.
As Design is gaining traction globally different observation models were developed to map the Design landscape. However, the application of these models in contexts with a slower maturation of Design culture and no institutional Design infrastructure can be difficult. With this challenge in mind, this paper presents a new distributed approach to support Design observation. It applies it to a case within the DesignOBS project - a project aiming to identify, map and interpret the Portuguese design landscape - and develops an online platform with the aim to create more efficient and engaging representations of Design practices and realities/contexts to multiple publics, including policymakers. The approach can benefit countries in a similar situation as Portugal, leveraging the participation of design actor- networks, encourage local initiatives, map the evolving Design landscape in collective manner, and hopefully constitute the supporting, resilient backbone to develop national Design policy.
National project that looks at design as a factor of innovation as well as cultural and socioeconomic development. The project collects and interprets data from the Portuguese Design ecosystem to promote its knowledge and to influence public policies.
2021 Observatório de Design. Towards a Design Observatory: models, instruments, representations and strategies. Supported by Lisbon Regional Operational Programme (Lisboa 2020) and the Competitiveness and Internationalisation Operational Programme (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-032445), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology.
ID+ Campus de Santiago Universidade de Aveiro 3810-193 Aveiro Portugal