Porto Design Biennale

Porto Design Biennale 2023

Being Water

Author: Nina Vollmer

The Porto Design Biennale 2023 is an event that encourages discussion and diverse perspectives on design, promotes new discourses and practices that increase the prospective capacity of the subject to outline innovative solutions to collective problems. Design is a subject, and a verb that conveys action; in this sense, it has been imposing itself as an area of great importance to today’s society, with a fundamental role in the creation of new social, political, cultural, and environmental paradigms.

This major event, promoted in collaboration between two municipalities (Porto and Matosinhos), aims to act as a platform for the dialogue between civil society, academia, industry, institutions, and national and international cultural agents. It honors local identities and manufacturing while fostering discussions on globally relevant issues.

In this edition of Porto Design Biennale, a transdisciplinary laboratory platform dedicated to observation, reflection, creativity, and learning is proposed, which will act simultaneously in the visible and invisible, organic and inorganic, and ephemeral spectra of water. This platform-laboratory is “hydrated” through six proposals: 

  • Promethean Beasts: Shapes of the human 
  • Magic Reality: Living with the un/known 
  • Bodies of Water: Where water becomes common — vegetable matter, meat, mineral 
  • Dynamic Landscapes: Dancing margins, borders that don't exist 
  • Flying Rivers: Rethinking the sources, uses, and representations of water 
  • Affective Geologies: The living history of a recipe 

From the interconnection between these six proposals, the aim is to develop and present strategies that contribute to acknowledge, repair, restore and cogitate new relationships with the world. In addition to designing better and more efficient uses of water, we must create models of alternative, symbiotic cohabitation between humans and more-than-humans, a beneficial and sustainable relationality for all. Learning from water reveals the complex and intricate web of interdependencies that connects us to the planet as a whole. 

Porto Design Biennale 2023

Porto & Matosinhos

October 19th to December 3rd, 2023

Further information here.


Porto Design Biennale

Tito-Mouraz----Sem-título-_-Untitled-(Fluvial-série-_-series),-2017 Exhibition-—-Erasing-the-Line_-Between-Land-and-Water,-Cortesy-of-Ivo-Poças-Martins Rain-Vases,-2019----Martín-Azúa-(1) Joydeb-and-Moyna-Chitrakar---Art_Text-from-the-book-Tsunami.-Copyright-©-Tara-Books-Pvt-Ltd,-Chennai,-India---Ilustrativa-da-exposição-CATHARSIS Imagem-do-setting-do-filme-The-Swimmer-(1968),-de-Frank-Perry---Ilustrativa-da-Exposição-_Ligações_ Exhibition-—-Erasing-the-Line_-Between-Land-and-Water,-Cortesy-of-Ivo-Poças-Martins(1) Exhibition-—-The-Waterschool-Classroom_Cabinet-of-Curiosities_,-cortesy-of-Studio-Making-_-Bey(2)