PERIPHERIES  Design, Nature, Culture and Tourism

Peripheries is a very recent research group, based on Madeira Island. Being an international and multidisciplinary team reunited in a small and peripheral region of Portugal, the group emphasises the significance design acquires in neighbouring areas, beyond the big western decision makers. In times as we are now facing, where walls are asked to be built, and therefore intensifying limits, how can design enhance a more transnational knowledge, exchange of best practices and promote a common wealth being?

Having these questions in mind the group has started to developed their work mainly in the fields of Design Education and Social Innovation strategies that helped either design students and local communities to understand the importance and relevance of Design thinking, Design Process and strategic design options that reflect and could improve inhabitants daily activities, lives and ultimately on their culture.

The design tools, developed during the three year project “Design for Social Sustainability” enhance either the Design teaching as well the relationship between the university and the communities. During this project, the group members involved, managed to try out new approaches to design teaching as well as to gather in a very strict and complex context, with particularly social issues like one of an island. During this period a great deal of institutional relationships where built between the group members and governmental and private institutions, reinforcing the importance of Design Thinking, collaboration and Design Consultancy. The specific natural environment and geographic characteristics that Madeira island offers rise as an interesting and new territory for design innovation and research.

Thinking, Processes, Identity, Peripheral Areas
Design for nature and landscape
Design with communities
Design for sustainable tourism
Susana Paula Gomes Luis Gonzaga

Group Coordinator elected by the Scientific Committee, two-year renewable term;
Scientific Committee formed by all integrated members;
Project coordinators emerge out of the projects themselves, or if necessary, appointed by the SC;
Plenary: Periodic meetings with all the members of this group, are set at least twice a year.

Integrated members
Susana Paula Gomes Luis Gonzaga
Elisa Bertolotti
Sérgio Manuel Coimbra Lemos
Shujoy Chakraborty
Valentina Vezzani
Considering the last researches and the ones that open up, the main objectives to develop in the next years are:

– Design education tools and strategies, for designing either locally and globally, considering peripheral issues;
– Design for and with communities; under a social sustainability environment as well on a innovation and cultural level.
– Design and Nature, how can design contribute for the regeneration of natural ecosystems.
– Intersections and hybrid frontiers on multidisciplinary design and science field and teams.
– Tourism and hospitality. How design for social innovation can help to re-think the role of tourism in the island of Madeira?

During the past five years, this group has carried out several activities that aimed to reinforce the importance of Design in Madeira Island on two main levels:

1- Strengthen Design higher Education on the island;
2- Highlight the importance of Design as an economical and cultural agent that fosters the island economy, tourism and local identity.

Regarding the first aim, the group has done since 2012:

– Restructuration of the Design Bachelor: new study plan, with new disciplines, introduction of contemporary contents, methods and themes.
– Creation and implementation of the first interdisciplinary Master course on Spatial Design, to increase the Department offer on post-graduation level in Design. (In the region there’s only 1 bachelor and 2 Masters programs in Design) This also intents to connect students to the teachers research activities and to initiate a more scientific approach to Design Studies.
– Organized several “one week workshops”, lectures and seminars with national and international researchers, teachers and designers open to external and students. These aim either project the Design group nationally and internationally as well as to establish and strengthen international networks. The workshops and seminars also allowed students to have an opportunity to learn and work directly with other researchers and designers.
– Setting up Erasmus agreements with different european universities and Memorandum of Understanding with non-Madeiran organisations (for instance, Paco Design Collaborative and…) in order to expand the mobility opportunities for both students and teachers.

List of events:
– “Design Editorial” – Workshop with the Designer Ricardo Tadeu Barros from TTDesign Studio Lisboa; (2013)
– “Momad Workshop” – Dr. Davide Spallazzo from Politecnico di Milano Scuola del Design; (2014)
– “3D Printing – Designing Educational Tools” -Workshop with Dr. Patrick Padrel, Nottingham University – Ningbo China (2015)
– “3D Printing Interactive Seminar” in collaboration with NUUM Studio (Funchal).
– “Design Talks #1 When Design Goes into the City” with the participation of Arch. Fabrizio Pierandrei, PACO Design Collaborative and Politecnico di Milano (2016)
– “Design Now Jam – When Production goes into the city” 48 hours of design thinking in parallel with other european design schools and fab-labs, in collaboration with PoliFactory of Politecnico di Milano, Paco Design Collaborative, and Iaac FabLab Barcelona.
– Young fresh designers – Projecto de criação, produção e venda de artefactos de caracter identitário cultural da região da Madeira;
– “Design [in/and/for] Democracy / Funchal, Madeira. Open letter to the Design Community: Stand Up for Democracy” (2017) design students and staff contributed to the open seminar Design [in/and/for] Democracy organised by DESIS Portugal in Aveiro, with a workshop in the streets of Funchal and a video.
– “Das Ideias nascem coisas” (2017-18) exposição dos trabalhos dos alunos de design na Galeria Francisco Franco para a promoção da licenciatura e duma cultura do Design na RAM.

Regarding the second aim, the group has done:

– Organizing several design exhibitions on important city venues, that helped the design bachelor and Master in Madeira to gain visibility and importance within younger people and helped to establish connections/partnerships with the local institutions and organizations and the Design group.
– Organizing several Design Jams within the international Global Service, Gov and Sustainability Jams network, fostering the connection between multidisciplinary professionals, design students and local community.
– Organizing requested Design training activities to the Secretaria Regional da Educação staff and to teachers of primary and secondary schools.
– Boost My Tour project, where 3rd year students presented their product-service concepts to different stakeholders and the best projects were hosted by CoWork Funchal for a month.
– Tiny-Houses project for sustainable tourism event at Colégio dos Jesuítas. Open session with Hotel managers and Tourism agents to discuss and present new design solutions for Hospitality and housing.

List of events:
– 2017 Acontece na Rua das Pretas – Exposição de trabalhos da UC PD2 para a revitalização comercial e social da rua em colaboração com a Camara Municipal de Funchal.
– 2017 Là-Là Madeira Toys em colaboração com o Museu do Brinqueido, Funchal.
– 2016 Design para os bens culturais – Exposição de trabalhos da UC PD1 sobre novas propostas museográficas feitas em colaboração com Museu de Arte Sacra Funchal
– 2016 The Big Lunch project – Organização de um almoço social como resultado de accões de design para a Inovação Social que envolveu os alunos finalistas da UC PD2, Associações e comunidades locais de dois bairros sociais de Funchal.
– 2015 Emoções 2; Exposição de trabalhos gráficos de Design 1 na galeria FORA
– 2016 Participação na Semana da saúde e cultura no Liceu Jaime Moniz; Actividade para a promoção do ensino superior em design;
– 2014 Organização do Open day de Arte e Design; exposições, debates, conferências no Campus. Ação de promoção do ensino superior em Artes
– 2013 Organização do evento Carreirinhas’13; exposições, apresentações trabalhos finalistas, performances; no Edifício do Antigo Instituto das Artes da Rua da Carreira
– 2013 Re’vent’art; Exposição de prótotipos realiazados na Licenciatura em Design no Museu Story Center
– 2014 5 intervenções em 5 Bairros Sociais da RAM –Projectos para Inovação Social e Design Social que envolveu alunos, Associações e comunidades.