DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Almendra, Rita Assoreira; Moҫo Falcão, Gonҫalo André
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon; CIAUD (Resesarch Centre on Architecture, Urbanism and Design
Section: Responding to Social Issues
Page(s): 002-007
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


This paper approaches the way it is possible to work in design courses (both in product and
communication design) the acquisition of competences in the areas of ethics, social commitment and
responsibility. This includes developing interpersonal skills, research abilities, critical reasoning and
critical action and it also requires the engagement with the community, the society in real time,
addressing real problems and devising sustainable and enduring solutions.
The structure of the paper includes a theoretical framework dedicated to the areas involved in the
social design learning/teaching process namely it presents social design as a transformation process
both using user-centred design and participatory design methodologies. It stresses the role of
partnership and interdisciplinary actions assuming process management and nourishment as key issues
to the implementation of design solutions. The argument is based on 2 projects: a) a briefing launched
in communication design studio regarding the importance of being paid by the work done as a way of
contributing to the dignity of the design profession. The project had the participation of 8 other
schools and all together they displayed the results in the 1st of May (worker’s day) in different towns;
b) a briefing addressing social design services launched in the course Service Design in which students
had to work with real problems from real communities and making use of a specific set of methods.Finally in the conclusions acknowledge results obtained in both courses thus being proposed ways of working the social issues – from awareness to a committed reflection and practice – in design education.

Keywords: Social involvement, design services, design education.


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