Organized by esad—idea, Research in Design and Art and promoted by the Porto and Matosinhos Municipalities, Porto Design Biennale aims to promote Portuguese Design in dialogue with the global context, taking on the role of the discipline in building culture, critical knowledge and responses to the most pressing issues posed by contemporaneity.

 With the first edition held in 2019, Porto Design Biennale seeks to foster Design as a common language for thinking, questioning and sharing ideas against a backdrop of global uncertainty and rapid change.

At a time when one must quickly create alternatives and make informed and ethical choices, we believe an event of this nature and scope must be able to foster debate, embrace concerns and multiple points of view. Likewise, it must encourage interest in Design in order to promote new discourses and practices, integrating Design’s prospective ability to create innovative solutions to collective problems.

Essential in crafting new social, political and cultural paradigms, and placing itself as a pivotal interface with arts, industry and the economy, Design stands as a key player in facing climate change and in promoting sustainability. Thus, Design’s role entails rethinking globalization and the movement of goods and persons, as well as mass production and consumption and the growing presence of technology in many aspects of human life.

Committed to the Porto and Matosinhos’ territory and identities, valuing craftsmanship, embodiment and material experience, Porto Design Biennale presents itself as a broad-spectrum thinking exercise. It stems from the local context and dynamics to trigger speculation and debate on global issues. Thus, Porto Design Biennale seeks to become a platform for dialogue between society, academia, industry and both national and international institutions and cultural agents.

 Though concentrated over a short period of time, the series of exhibitions, conferences, workshops and publications that make up Porto Design Biennale aim to leave an imprint of debate and thinking about Design as a contemporary discipline of great prominence and responsibility concerning collective and environmental survival.

Porto Design Biennale aims to create moments for discussion and inquiry, but also, and mostly, a space for celebrating Design, its positive assertion and pervasive growth in an inclusive and sustainable society.



Promoted by
Câmara Municipal do Porto
Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos

Organized by
Esad-Idea, Investigação em Design e Arte

Luísa Salgueiro (P)
Rui Moreira (VP)
Sérgio Afonso

Executive Director
Magda Seifert

Advisory Board
Nuno Faria (CMP)
Maria Milano (CMM)
Magda Seifert (esad-idea)
José Bártolo
Andrew Howard
Bárbara Coutinho
Mariana Pestana
Fernando Brízio