Porto Design Biennale 2019

19 September 2019
08 December 2019


ico-D is pleased to endorse Porto Design Biennale 2019 organised by esad—idea, Investigação em Design e Arte. The event runs from 19 September to 08 December 2019 in Matosinhos (Porto, Portugal)



Aiming to be a regular event to promote design culture, its public discussion and the production of critical knowledge in Portugal, PDB intends to conduct continuous research and disseminate Portuguese and international design, enhancing the crossover of resources between disciplines, designers, companies, academia, industry and social sectors. The first edition undertakes the international dimension of the event, while at the same time giving voice to the public design strategy shared by Porto and Matosinhos.

In addition, PDB is intended to be a place of celebration of design, a space where problematisation and debate do not exclude the thinking and seeking to make a better world. Confronting the tensions of the
new millennium, the first edition of Porto Design Biennale seeks to analyse the current disciplinary configuration of design. The reflection on the one hand takes into account the historical perspective
and tension relationships, between remoteness and closeness, contemporary design and the model of modern design that was in effect until the end of the millennium; on the other hand, it is important to identify and evaluate the forms and functions of design produced in the first two decades of the current millennium, as well as to reflect on the social efficiency of design and the new connections that arise
from the economic, technological, political, cultural and environmental situations.

Design has emerged in recent years as a key discipline for thinking about the city and building its future. This international phenomenon is particularly important in Matosinhos and Porto, two cities that
have brought design practice into the centre of their cultural strategy, not limiting its potential to the artistic field, but using it continuously as a catalyst for social, economic, technological and environmental change. The two cities’ various amenities and cultural institutions make up a unique territory that stands out in the country for its artistic diversity and vitality. It is precisely in this context, and because of it, that the Porto Design Biennale was born, a project based on the two cities but not limited to them and whose objectives are to develop an analysis of the current setting of design and to foster dialogue between structures and agents, both in Portugal and abroad, crossing practices and disciplines. The first edition of Porto Design Biennale, therefore, consolidates the presence of this common cultural territory in the international design landscape.


The programme concerning the theme Post Millennium Tension offers up five exhibitions, 2 public space installations, 2 workshop cycles, a performance conference and a Digital Culture conference and debate event. Territorio Italia focuses on events based around the guest country – Italy. Through 3 exhibitions and a conference, we are introduced to a new practice of Italian design, inseparable from the context of socio-political change that affects the country. The work of the academy will be carried out through the Schools project, in which national design educational institutions will present their visions and projects. Several events will make up a Satellites schedule, bringing together events hosted by PDB and ten projects selected from an Open Call.

19 - 28 September: Opening Week


Porto Design Biennale 2019
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PDB opening event
esad—idea, Investigação em Design e Arte


About ico-D Endorsements
Each year, ico-D endorses a select group of international activities that advance our objective to promote the value of design. Endorsed events demonstrate that they enhance the standards of design, ethics and professional practice. For design awards, an ico-D endorsement is recognition that it has been organised to meet international best practice guidelines under ico-D’s policies and best practices – including jury composition, evaluation criteria and intellectual property protection.
Find out how to apply for ico-D Endorsements here.


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