THEME Theory and Memory

THEME is formed with members whose investigations have as their main focus the history of Portuguese design; the phenomenology and epistemology of the Image and perception; design education and the study of Intangible culture.
Theory and History of Design;
Cultural Heritage and Patrimony;
Visual, Material and Immaterial Culture;
Design Education and Design Studies.
Maria Helena Ferreira Braga Barbosa


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 researchers (PhD)
Maria Helena Ferreira Braga Barbosa
Alexandra de Jesus Costa Beleza Moreira
Ana Filomena Curralo Gonçalves
Carla Suzana Correia de Assunção Dias
Sandra Isabel Valente Antunes
Integrated researchers (no-PhD)
Aurora Fernanda Guimarães Brochado e Silva
Igor Alexandre Pereira Ramos
Considering the richness of the Portuguese culture, and the impossibility of accessing through knowledge to almost the collections (public and private), other places, objects and images, from the point of view of the construction of theoretical narratives, it was considered that this approach function as channel to open new perspectives about the heritages that are hidden, layers that are not studied, whereas design should serve as an umbrella for news insights. In that sense, the objectives of this group is to:

– Understand the role of the image in contemporary culture, of scientific and artistic representations, including the phenomenology and epistemology of the image; the philosophy of representation; phenomenology of perception and the broader study of visual culture and image theory; Investigate material and immaterial culture, especially in relation to the history of design in Portugal, covering different typologies of objects dispersed diachronically. Recover the memory next to companies, institutions and academies, in order to promote culture and knowledge, using different approaches taking in account: collecting, analyzing, interpreting and divulging.

– Raise the visibility of design as a discipline underlining the education in design as a tool trough partnerships and collaborations contributing to the preservation and representation of heritage and cultural heritage. Include studies of design culture crossing layers of contents inside and out the discipline of design. It also intends to establish connections with theory and practice, with the other ID+ groups and expand the international dimension of the research, continuing the already prolific organising events, as well as create protocols with more partners as a strategy for divulgation of the achievements developed by the group.

Between 2013-2017 the group:

a) Participated in two applications to the call H2020 “Work Programme: Europe in a Changing World” (2015) and “Understanding Europe: Promoting the European” (2017) with international partners. Both related the cultural history of design with heritage studies focused on Cultural Heritage: “Figured & Galo de Barcelos” and “Design education: innovative pedagogical experiences: learning collaborative”.

b) Extended the research related to the history of Portuguese Visual and Material Culture to educational contexts. The results of this research were presented through the FCT funded project “CIDES.PT-Interpretation Centre for Portuguese Design”;

c) With the collaboration of companies (Casa Ferreirinha, Packigráfica) and institutions (Academy of Cinema, National Theatre D. Maria II) researched collections and archives related to Portuguese design using hermeneutics as narrative approach in the context of the History of Design;

d) Structured and developed the project of I&D “RARAP-Augmented Reality in Radiology and Anatomic Pathology: Interaction Design and Image Epistemology” which questioned the limits of the representation of images in epistemological and medical contexts;

All these projects are incubators of activity for the next 5 years. Thus, it is intended to deepen and broaden research inter/transdisciplinary in other areas such:design criticism and aesthetics of design, increasingly, in anthropology and neuroscienceThe group plans to establish the crossing with theory and practice, with the other ID + groups and expand the international dimension of the research, continuing the already prolific organizing events, as well as create protocols with other partners.