LUME Unexpected Media Lab

[LUME] aims at the re-calibration of contemporary and traditional media towards common good. It stems from the evidence that technological development needs critical interpretation, as well as mindful implementation and regulation. The group thus proposes the decipherment of media paradoxes and perplexities, as well the capacitation of citizens facing the challenges of contemporary culture.
In the past the group has:
– contributed with a series of “citizen labs” (knowledge transfer between academia and social sectors);
– provided insights from the Humanities and Social Sciences [HSS] to regional Digital Health Consortia;
– supported a reciprocal capacitation between traditional industry sectors and ailing craft communities;
– developed taxonomies and contemporary re-inscriptions of visual heritage and identity.
Future activity will focus on the consolidation of the key concept of “Ethnography of Technology”. It is the group’s belief that, as technological development is proving itself increasingly self-reliant, an outlook from communication design may benefit all involved sectors, including broader segments of the HSS. Other key concepts will complement this motto, namely media literacy and the dynamics between cultural heritage and contemporary media;
Additionally, [LUME] will follow up from the aforementioned strategic priorities, while keeping in mind the rapidly shifting landscape of media and technology, as well as the shifting nature of the social fabric – all ultimately impacting the nature of the group’s actions.
Ethnography of Technology
Cultural Heritage
Contemporary Media
Media Literacy

This group is, first and foremost, project-driven and network-based. A governance structure is intended as a means of maintaining scientific and strategic continuity of what should, in essence, be a point of convergence for research projects sharing a common territory of knowledge and enquiry.

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;
Plenary meetings with all members of the group (bi-yearly).

Therefore, the main driving element of the group’s development will be an annual forum that will gather researchers, students and external civic and entrepreneurial agents around the subject of contemporary media challenges of a civic, social and cultural nature. This will be the main, albeit evidently not exclusive, catalyst of social incorporation of the knowledge stemming out of the projects under development by the research group.

Additionally, the group considers the implementation of a “research culture” one of its main priorities. With this in mind, a daily coexistence in a lab environment that opens its doors to researchers, partners and PhD students is an essential ingredient to the success of a fertile research hub.

Lastly, the group acknowledges its potential to act as an incubator of research projects that may in due time become autonomous research groups themselves.

Integrated researchers (PhD)
Heitor Manuel Pereira Pinto da Cunha e Alvelos
Anselmo Neto Ferreira Canha
António Manuel Dias Costa Valente
Cláudia Raquel Marques Martins Lima
Cristina Maria da Silva Pinto Ferreira Fonseca
João Adriano Fernandes Rangel
Jorge Manuel Lopes Brandão Pereira
José Manuel da Silva Fernandes de Carvalho Carneiro
Julio Fernando Dolbeth e Costa Henriques da Silva
Nuno Duarte Martins
Pedro Alexandre Santos Carvalho de Almeida
Rui Paulo Vitorino dos Santos
Susana Cruz Barreto
Integrated researchers (no-PhD)
Ana Clara Nunes Roberti
António João Fernandes Lourenço Gomes
Celeste Maria Lourenço da Silva de Oliveira Pedro
César Octavio Lugo Elías
Fátima Silva São Simão
Helena Sofia Malheiro da Silveira da Silva
Isobel Taylor
Marta Nestor Pinheiro de Magalhães Pereira Rodrigues
Olga Glumac
Ricardo Manuel Coelho de Melo
Rui Miguel da Costa Monteiro
Sérgio Miguel Carvalho Januário
Other researchers
Abhishek Chatterjee
Ana Isabel da Silva Carvalho
Daniel da Cruz Brandão
Dula Maria Bento de Lima
Ece Canli
Jelena Savic
Maria Luiza Gomes do Valle e Vasconcellos
Pedro Augusto Moura Palha Bellesi
Rafael Klumb Arnoni
Ricardo Lafuente Monteiro
Sara Daniela Bento Botelho da Silva
One of the key barometers of contemporaneity is the vertigo of technology: subjective, ubiquitous and infinitely reconfigurable. This is readily witnessed in participatory media in face of its apparently orthodox content and the determinism of its use and functionality.

[LUME] proposes a close cooperation with media and technology research. It aims at multiple calibration of the civic vocation of contemporary and traditional media – particularly in its horizontal stream, accessible and of a playful and oneiric expectation. This calibration is primarily conducted through ethnography and design, and aims to be scalable and liable to contextual extrapolation. The contexts of enquiry range from urban environments, documentary legacies, post-industrial regeneration, online developments and historical craft.

Geo-political and geo-economic evidence has been reinforcing the duty to reconsider prior models governing the socio-cultural fabric. Individual and collective, financial and existential, emancipation may be performed via the use of media functionalities. This wide hypothesis may be tested, acknowledged, aggregated and implemented – while maintaining a critical eye in face of recent developments that reveal a potentially paradoxical vocation (e.g.: is social media still and always “social”?).

[LUME] proposes to contribute to the following:
– The decipherment of contemporary social, cultural and mythological paradoxes and perplexities.
– The capacitation of citizens in their relational ambivalence with the vertigo of contemporary culture.
– The legitimisation of multiple value systems and cultural/material production models.
– The calibration of contemporary media through projects that engage with factors of accessibility, horizontality, expectation, geometry, narrative, speculation, oneiricism.
– A contextual harmonisation between the axiomatic aspects of design and their current, unpredictable paradigm shifts.
– The active pedagogy of the multiple forms of wealth.
The group is, first and foremost, project-driven and network-based. A governance structure is intended as a means of maintaining scientific and strategic continuity of what should, in essence, be a point of convergence for research projects sharing a common territory of knowledge and enquiry.
PhD Research Projects:

  • A Geometry of Regeneration.
  • Designrascar: Towards an Alternate Model of Design Philosophy.
  • Codesigning communication in dementia.
  • Design, Tradition and Craft: the case of Almalaguês.
  • Designing process and narrative with local agro-industrial byproducts.
  • Exploring Universal Structure to Design.
  • The Serendipitous Web: Mechanisms and Processes for Designing Online Serendipity.
  • “Arraial” Echoes: Possible Design contributions in the systematization, appreciation and communication of the cultural representations existing in the “Arraial do Pavulagem”, Belém.
  • De/Re-Construction of Gender Performativity through Self-Representation.
Curated by Heitor Alvelos and Karen Gustafson, FUTUREPLACES has been addressing the dynamics between new media and the socio-cultural fabric since 2008. A multitude of workshops, projects, talks, creative events and think-tanks has woven itself onto a wide network of simultaneously local and international resonance.

Developed within the framework of the UTAustin-Portugal Program for Digital Media, FUTUREPLACES has served as a meeting point, incubator, facilitator, showcase and launchpad for numerous creative endeavours including the Museum of Ransom, the CCStop Musicians Collective, ±, Stories of Chairs, Creative Commons Portugal, Radio Manobras Futuras, Visible, Portugal Portefolio, Media and Perplexity, 333.

Poised between creative research, constructive activism and trans-utopian discourse, FUTUREPLACES is and will remain free – on the premise that all attending find active ways of engaging with what we call “social fertility”.

Past keynotes and distinguished guests have included Peter Sunde, Nancy Schiesari, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Jon Phillips, Golan Levin, Caroline Frick, Debbie Anzalone, Peter Principle, Jon Wozencroft, Blaine L. Reininger, Hiperbarrio Colombia, Jillian York, Hugh Forrest, David Trullo, GANA, Len Massey, Stephan Baumann, Elizabeth Stark, Negativland, Laura Malacart, Bruce Geduldig, Philip Dean, Andrew Poppy, Donato Ricci and Philip Marshall, among many others.

“Between Riot and Rave” (2012), an essay on our mission, can be found here.
A sample of our projects is here.