Design thinking has created divisions in the field: either designers are too theory-driven or simply practitioners. Those feeling lost can easily turn to a language meant to inspire creative production in easy to pitch ways, where rhetoric uses design to keep power at bay, to celebrate hegemonic beliefs that are used to indoctrinate designers in bad education, incapable of imagining different futures. If you take away the post-its, the A3 papers, and the markers, can designers think? Led by Antonio Gramsci’s advice that knowing thyself requires compiling an inventory, design critic, educator, and researcher Danah Abdulla pays tribute to the late architect, activist, and critic Michael Sorkin, whose original list Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect Should Know inspired this updated version targeted at designers. Described as a guidebook/notebook of things designers should think about in order for them to know, this talk will discuss the iterative list – which is not meant to be a definitive how-to guide, but to spark conversations, prompt critical thinking, and to help designers reconfigure their discipline. — This activity is part of the interdisciplinary research programme in art, architecture, and design of transformation and politics, presented by maat in partnership with COW – Centre for Other Worlds, Research Centre in Design and Art, Lusófona University.
Gemma Copeland is a designer and researcher. Her work centres on developing new models for living and working collaboratively, building communities, and imagining post-growth futures. She is a member of Common Knowledge, a not-for-profit worker cooperative that works with political organisations on their digital strategy. She supports these groups by designing digital tools and identities, conducting research, providing strategic advice and facilitating workshops. Previously, she helped organise groups like the United Voices of the World’s Designers & Cultural Workers branch and the design collective Evening Class. She has worked at design studios in the UK, The Netherlands and Australia, mainly on projects within the cultural sector. She has done talks and workshops at University of Cambridge, Central St Martins, London College of Communication, Kingston School of Art, Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons School of Design. She is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.
PhD in Digital Media (University of Porto). Design lecturer at Lusófona University; School of Fine Arts, University of Porto; and ESAP. Her research is focused on the recovery of community stories and local art and design stories through biographical testimonies and visual analysis, with FCT funded projects such as: An Infodemic of Disorientation; Echoing the Communal Self; Wisdom Transfer (under which she developed a post-doc project on the first pedagogical practices of Design at the School of Fine Arts of Porto). She is currently coordinating the research REMIND: Design for People with Dementia, in which pedagogical practices are being developed in partnership with Alzheimer Portugal. She has coordinated national and international events including conferences, symposia, seminars, exhibitions and workshops; and developed pedagogical projects in partnership with museums including Tate Modern, Soares dos Reis National Museum and the WOW Museum focusing on the interpretation of works of art from past generations through digital media. Ciência Vitae
Luiza Prado de O. Martins is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work examines themes around fertility, reproduction, coloniality, gender, and race. Her ongoing artistic research project, A Topography of Excesses, looks into encounters between human and plant beings within the context of herbalist reproductive medicine, approaching these practices as expressions of radical care. Since 2019, she has broadened the scope of this research, developing a body of work that offers a critique of the racist concept of ‘overpopulation’ in the context of the current climate crisis with the project The Councils of the Pluriversal: Affective Temporalities of Reproduction and the Climate Crisis. She is part of the curatorial board of transmediale 2021 and a founding member of Decolonising Design. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany. Ciência Vitae
Mariana Pestana is an architect, researcher and independent curator, exploring critical, social and fictional dimensions of design for an age marked by technological progress and an ecological crisis. Since 2010, she is co-director of The Decorators, an interdisciplinary studio that makes collaborative cultural programmes with the aim to expand notions of place, community and commensality. She holds a PhD in Architectural Design from the Bartlett School of Architecture. In 2018, Mariana co-curated The Future Starts Here (Victoria and Albert Museum) and in 2019 she co-curated Eco Visionários: Arte e Arquitectura Depois do Antropoceno (MAAT, Lisbon, Matadero, Madrid e Royal Academy, London) and edited Fiction Practice: Prototyping the Otherworldly (Onomatopee). Currently, she is the curator of the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial (2020-21) and works as Assistant Professor of Design at Lusófona University. Ciência Vitae
Justin is a South African field ecologist and nature conservationist. He has a master’s degree from London University and is a PhD candidate at the Nova University School of Science and Technology on the restoration of Natura 2000 habitats. Apart from his studies, Justin also consults on numerous ecological projects in Portugal which are focused on recovering damaged, degraded, and destroyed ecosystems where he employs GIS and ‘drone’ based technologies for unmanned aerial surveys, along with his experience as a field-based practitioner. He is a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) international as well as the SER European chapter. Before coming to Portugal, he worked in a community based natural resource management (CBNRM) project in Niassa, Mozambique for over 10 years – it was here that he met Sofia, his Portuguese wife. Before Mozambique, he worked in the Kruger National Park, as well as other South African National Parks, including various ecological restoration and CBNRM projects throughout southern Africa.
Marco Balesteros explores the book as expanded territory and performative space, which he began researching as part of the MA programme at the Werkplaats Typografie (NL) and Jan Van Eyck Academy (NL), where he developed the project SALA LIVR(E)O. In his practice he investigates the artist book, the essay book and the book as staged territory. Balesteros explores this possibility through his collaboration with dancer and choreographer Sara Vaz in the project LIVRO-CARACTERE. He is the founder of studio LETRA, where he produces projects in a close dialogue with visual artists, photographers, dancers, curators, publishers, galleries and others. Balesteros develops pedagogical models parallel to the academic space in which he explores publishing as a collaborative model and a form of public action. He has developed several workshops on self-publishing: Samizadt and Portable School (FBAUL, Lisbon); Mus(a)eu(m) (Serralves, Porto); LOW high (Madrid); Hard-Edit (Bucharest); Second Circulation (Darmstadt), Portable School—A lesson in Politics (Sofia), De-School-ing ENSBA Lyon, among others. Lecturer on the BA Communication Design at Lusófona University, and Guest Lecturer on the MA Graphic Design at ESAD.CR.
Conservator-restorer of Graphic Documents. PhD from the Art History Department of FCSH-UNL, with the support of FCT, with research on the archeology of illuminated manuscripts from the Monastery of Lorvão. Conservation of manuscripts and historical bindings in the National Archive of Torre do Tombo (1997–2018). Taught the course Preservation and Conservation of Information and Documentation at FCSH-UNL (2012–16), with notable projects in India with the support of the Oriente Foundation, in Egypt at the service of the Levantine Foundation, at the Coptic Library of Seir al-Surian; for Unesco, in the preparation of the Dossier for the current nomination of the Apocalypse of Lorvão (1189) the Memory of the World. She is the commissioner of the exploratory project LivrObjecto – Anatomy and Architecture. Coordinator of the Conservation Area of MUDE – Museum of Design and Fashion, and Guest Lecturer at Delli at Lusófona University. Represents Portugal at the European Research Center for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration.
PhD in Communication Sciences, Director of the BA Videogames and Vice-chair of the BA Communication Design at Lusófona University. Lecturer in digital post-production for film, television, games and animation, also developing research in communication sciences, design and arts. His work at Hei-Lab (Digital Human-Environment Interaction Lab) and MovLab (Laboratory o Interactions and Interfaces), where he integrates technologies such a Motion Capture, Animation, VR or Stereoscopic Photography, is an example of the cross-media projects that involve academic and professional work for the entertainment, design or communication sectors.