( experimentadesign )




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Conscious of the role of design and creativity in social innovation, experimentadesign created Design Response, an initiative to address one of the most important and complex contemporary subjects.

Design Response is a unit for innovation and development with the objective of developing solutions through design for challenges that are faced by contemporary society and promoting values of inclusivity, sustainability, validation and citizenship. The adopted methodology is based on a project process that analyses and articulates human, material and social factors in a perspective pointed towards response efficiency as well as its quality as a cultural product.

Thus, Design Response stems from experimentadesign's commitment to incisively and proactively intervene on the current context, involving and mediating the dialogue between institutions and civil society agents, companies, the creative community and stakeholders. It is a unit for the application and operationalization of knowledge, of research and above all, for the production of reality.

As a unit that applies design to different realities and contexts, Design Response transversely acts within the area of sustainability, with a special focus on social innovation and the environment. In the scope of optimizing results, it seeks to capture and converge efforts from different quadrants, calling upon the contributions of disciplines as diverse as sociology, economics, anthropology and psychology, among others.

Design Response develops projects in the areas of service design, social design, strategic design, research design, system design and product design.


  • Ageing and Intergenerationality
  • Multiculturalism
  • Refugees and Migration
  • Democratic Participation
  • Unemployment
  • Disability and Special Needs
  • Quality of Life
  • Mobility
  • Renewable Energies
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Local Economy
  • Managing Natural Resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Recycling


    Action for Age 2011
    OCTOBER 2010 – NOVEMBER 2011

    The second edition of this creative laboratory challenged university students and recent graduates to design solutions and contribute to improving the quality of life of the elderly through the establishment of intergenerational relationships.

    Action for Age launched a national competition for ideas in October 2010, where 22 Portuguese high schools and universities from across the country participated. In February 2011, from the 71 applications submitted by 227 students, 12 projects were selected to move on to the development and implementation stage, accompanied by the mentoring of social designers.

    The outputs of the projects were presented in an exhibition at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and were integrated into the programme of the EXD'11 Biennale. The inauguration was marked by the screening of a documentary directed by Rui Simões, which closely followed the dynamics of the process, along with a contextualizing conference.

    Action for Age involved a total of 45 students from 5 education institutions (IPVC, UA, ESAD CR, FBAUL) that developed their work in 5 different locations (Viana do Castelo, Vale do Cávado, Aveiro, Caldas de Rainha, Lisboa).

    Starting in 2009 with a brief from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the 2nd edition of Action for Age was a co-production between EXD'11, RSA, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Santa Casa de Misericórdia.

    Efeito D

    SEPTEMBER 2009

    Effect D emerged from the desire to contribute to the Diferenças Centro de Desenvolvimento Infantil, which specializes in children with disabilities, namely Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21). Based in Lisbon, it is one of the most advanced centres in Europe, helping thousands of children.

    With the objective of generating revenue for the Centro Diferenças, BBDO Portugal started Effect D, challenging Portuguese designers to create new products marked by an element or coefficient of difference and distinction in their design and concept. EXD joined the initiative, organizing and curating the international segment of the project, inviting a group of renowned designers and curating the exhibition.

    In September, during EXD'09, experimentadesign presented a new showcase that included sketches, drawings, 3-D projects and prototypes. The Objective of Effect D was to originate a line of unique design products to be commercialized in Portugal and abroad. Effect D was conceived and developed pro-bono by all of the intervening parties.

    Action for Age 2009

    Action for Age 2009
    April – September 2009

    Action for Age explored the role of design in the context of some of the complex challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population.

    Through a partnership between the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts in the United Kingdom, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and experimentadesign in Portugal, this creative laboratory invited university and design students to work under the coordination of senior designers. The common challenge was to create services, networks and other intuitive solutions centred on the user for the effective bettering of the lives of the elderly.

    The results of the workshops were presented in a showcase and conference integrated into EXD'09. In Action for Age, design represents a reconditioning discipline for our experiential context – material, spatial, communicative and of interaction – establishing a harmonious relationship with the new necessities and demands of a society that is in constant transformation.

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