Critical Design Lab for Growth and Prosperity


[MADE.PT] laboratory focuses its scientific activity on the Design project (Research through Design), conciliating theory with practice, in a critical expression that expands the knowledge of the discipline. Critical Design Lab for Growth and Prosperity, made in Portugal to make Portugal.


The group’s objective is to produce knowledge about the European economic fabric, namely by intervening in the national productive park, capable of affirming the inheritance of Portuguese cultural heritage as the grounds of identity and diversity, evidenced in the brand “made in Portugal”. Considering the industrial nature (SMEs) of the North’s economic fabric, as well as the strategic intention to increase the efficiency between research and project practice, we verify that the contributions of science have been centred on technological transfer and in the knowledge of, and adaptation to, the markets, being that in the future they should focus instead on the cultural qualification of the designed product through the valorisation of its symbolic function. It is urgent to promote a new industrialisation driven by social and environmental knowledge, which will be reflected in a more responsible, sustainable and socially inclusive economy. The characterisation of the actions to be developed in this context implies a close collaboration between Academia, the productive fabric and society, that results from a verticalisation of design in organisations, a condition for social promotion through development, and economic and cultural prosperity.
The laboratory highlights the discipline of Design as a driving force for action in a sustainable market system, developing a creative economy and innovative production, framed in the scientific and economic ideals of Europe’s 2020 agenda, which recognises the importance of design for the resolution of the major social problems identified today.

Main achievements



The Geodesign project aims to implement innovative products with a strong design component, focused on architecture (especially at the hotel and urban furniture level), using innovative materials. Combining the use of industrial waste from the Northern Region of Portugal with a high quality Design and intense R & D activity, it is proposed the development of products that respond to new market trends, thus developing artefacts of high aesthetic and functional quality, aimed at the architectural world, very receptive to aesthetically attractive products due to their differentiating characteristics, sophistication and low cost, responding both to the desire of the consumer and to the international standards in force.




Paredes City Council has organized the Art on Chairs International Design Competition, with support from ID+, to foster the valuation of the industrial product through Design in the furniture industries. The idea was to hold a major event that would lend exposure to the productive capability of this municipality’s industrial potential and, at the same time, to be able to point out innovative and original solutions geared to the industrial production of wood chairs.



The participation in this project allowed familiarity with the wood furniture industries, its context and reality. Experience and know-how was gathered about a) the productive wood furniture system, b) the relations (or lack of it) between designers and enterprises (at different levels of the productive chain), c) the expression of Portuguese furniture in the national and international markets. Art on Chairs received the Regiostars award by the European Commission in 2014.


ART ON CHAIRS | experience of being by Paredes (Beijing) | 2014


Project CIDES.PT

The Interpretation Centre for Portuguese Design (CIDES.PT) aims to research, develop and evaluate new approaches to history, museology and museography of Design, focusing on Portuguese Design, as a case study. The focus on Portuguese Design is justified by the extent of the heritage of communication artefacts, equipment and environment, presently dispersed about the country and at risk of disappearing into oblivion, and the opportunity to improve Portuguese Design’s image internationally.