Design, Technology and Society

This project stems from the need to articulate the research with the several actions in the field of Design inside i2ADS and FBAUP. It stems also from the need to consolidate the research in Design from the relationships of i2ADS/FBAUP inside University of Porto, such as, for example, the Media Innovation Labs (MIL) and the Coding for Social Impact (CSI). In that sense, one wishes to give autonomy to research in the field of Design by reinforcing the theoretical reflection and by articulating the transversal approach already existent through the following theme lines:

a) Interface Design and the development of digital platforms and repositories.

The context of research in art, design and society is, apart from transversal, above all, a matter of research that can be problematised from the theoretical-practical perspective, taking advantage of the several activities of i2ADS and FBAUP. That is, if, on one hand, the projects need, for example, specific audio-visual platforms that demand approaches that are different from the traditional content management, on the other hand, the contexts of art and design have a responsibility in the practice, the research and the innovation of those same approaches. To establish the adequate problematic, more than of need we should speak of a singular practice and reflection in the context of art and design with the electronic platforms and respective interfaces.

b) Multimedia Research and Development with a focus on Accessibility, Social Inclusion and Free Access.

The concern with Accessibility, Social Inclusion and Free Access in the field of Design cannot be confined to adaptability of objects to the excluded. It is the plane of exclusion which must be problematised in the construction of objects. It is also the contradictions of Universalism that must be lifted denouncing the very complicity of Design in the exclusion. Fundamentally, it is in the listening of the Other, in a truly participated involvement in Design Research, in which its voice and its action can configure new worlds. As the basis of that possibility lies free and open access, because it is on that perspective about information that collaborative research must be built. Besides being a line of research, it is a concern with the political positioning that we intend to extend to all i2ADS projects.

c) Research and Development in the extended field of Image and Illustration.

In the training space of FBAUP and in the scope of other i2ADS projects, we find several activities and interests in the extended field of Image and Illustration. However, that dynamic is disperse and occurs normally on an individual plane. The vitalization on the part of students, teachers and researchers must be organized and systematized with the research as fundamental axis.  With this line we intend to foster research in this area, in a participative and collaborative way, with a focus on the integration of young researchers in R&D projects. It is through a critical and contemporary look that a generation is built uncovering its themes, configuring its visual culture and breaking up with institutionalised paternalisms.  The main objective of this line is to open the expanded space of research on image and illustration to be occupied and transformed by the new generations, displacing them from the role of consumption to the plane of action.

d) Research and Development in 3D Technologies.

Despite being considered an emergent area one must recognise its disperse and insipient action, not only in i2ADS and FBAUP, but in the University of Porto as a whole. The recent creation of MIL will allow greater synergies within UP and will have i2ADS/FBAUP as its reference in this technology. In this sense, this line may, first of all, feed other lines and articulate itself with the dynamics of the UP.

e) Research and theoretical-critical production in Technology, Communication, Media and Society.

In a culture dominated by cyber-Fordism, schools are one of the accomplices in the construction of this society in which the medium is the message. That complicity has configured education and research in a preparation of the students for a market, in which technical competencies are the main objective relegating the theoretical-critical dimension to the background. In the concrete dimension of Design there is a great tendency for research to be situated in the scope of applied research, often mistaken for service design offers or authored productions. This dynamic takes the space for deeper researches based on the practice of Design; in the articulation of its processes with technology; in the transversal problematics of communication; in the methodological specificities concerning media manipulation; in the consequent relations between Design and society. Above all, this dynamic has been supressing the theoretical-critical reflection that these axis demand and it prevents new perspectives of configuration of the research in this field. With this line of research, one intends to look at the interior of research activities of i2ADS/FBAUP, with an emphasis on the activities of this very project, that may lead to a clarification of the field of Research in Design. In another sense, we aim to aggregate researchers who work in this scope, to amplify the synergies and to enlarge this field of research.