The first edition of Porto Design Biennale, under the theme Post Millennium Tension, understands design as a mediating discipline in the face of emerging social challenges and seeks to find new alternatives, concrete utopias that have the potential to be materialised.
In this regard, applicants were invited to think about the tensions, mutations and urgencies of the new millennium from the following perspectives: designer as author, where the creation of an own language fosters a critical outlook into the designer’s own role of agent in context; designer as producer who uses the means of production and technology to think meaningful processes and objects in the context of a rapidly shifting production market; designer as collaborator within a wide disciplinary framework in which the intersections between authors and fields of knowledge points out new proposals for the future; designer as curator, creator of selected narratives, combining historical and contemporary materials and proposing innovative readings of the worlds.
Rather than categorizing, applicants were expected to explore different forms of action, single or joint, presenting a wide range of formats, such as: debate/colloquium; workshop/training; exhibition/installation; publishing/edition. Integrating the biennale’s parallel programme, priority was given to projects that propose critical approaches to the general theme of this edition and are capable of rethinking the traditional formats of public presentation, broadening the reach of audiences and the ways of interacting with them.
The Open Call For Projects launched by the Porto Design Biennale received a total of 82 submissions. The jury, consisting of Alice Semedo, Eduardo Aires, João Ribas, Paulo Vinhas and Raquel Pais, unanimously selected ten projects to be presented under the Satellites programme.