Finding Our Place

Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon


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Cassini Nazir, Assistant Professor, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas, United States

Design in Healthcare Systems Concerning People with Reduced Access in Lower Middle Income Countries

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Patricia Raquel Bohn,  Claudia de Souza Libanio,  Emanuele K├Ânig  

When we talk about health, we think about well-being, quality of life, inclusion, and accessibility for a large part of the population, as recommended by the seventeen UN SDGs. So, this paper aims to promote a reflection about design in healthcare systems in lower middle income countries (LMICs) rethinking and reframing the role of design to improve quality of life and well-being for people with reduced access. Conducting a literature review some topics came to light and needed to be rethought. We watched these topics being debated on a table running with health specialists. We propose a reflection, based on an experience report, on some issues arised from there. Then, the intention is to reflect on the design of healthcare systems in LMICs, in particular on the role of design in improving the quality of life and well-being for people with reduced access. The analysis was based on experience and what was reflected by the researchers from this study. As a result, the health context in LMICs presents similarities in terms of social inequality and access and geographic distribution of health services. Differences between the LMICs and the world refer to public health policies. About challenges and opportunities, the starting point is to establish health systems that take into account the epidemiological profile of their populations, the economic, social, and demographic realities, practices that adhere to local culture, and available technology. The designers are required daily to generate solutions to unresolved problems or even to identify and frame complex problems.

Creating Community: Art and Design at Tokyo's Olympic Agora View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Kelly Salchow MacArthur  

The Olympics present a unique opportunity to engage people from diverse cultures at one location for a celebratory, esteemed, competitive athletic event. Recognizing The Games additionally as an opportunity to establish connections between sport, culture, and creativity, The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage initiated the Olympic Agora to showcase visual art. Artists and designers were guided to create Noren curtains (traditional Japanese curtains commonly hung in entryways) to represent cooperation, determination, resilience, and peace. This case study shares the methodologies and solutions that were involved in this interdisciplinary and international project towards a shared goal. Consideration within the creative process was also directed at the tentative reality of the lingering global pandemic. For the first time in Olympic history, The Games had been postponed for one year, ultimately occurring in 2021. The Tokyo 2021 Olympics signaled the restoration of physical interaction and competition on a global scale, allowing physical, mental, and emotional healing. The Olympic Agora, featuring the work of five Olympians and one Paralympian, served as a cultural hub that created a sense of community through a free and accessible environmental installation for the international audience.

Two Houses in the Arabian Desert: Assessing the Built Work of RCR Architects in the United Arab Emirates View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Igor Peraza  

Today, with many foreign architects receiving commissions in the United Arab Emirates, it is essential to query how the region's culture, environment, and building traditions influence design approaches. This study examines the siting, geometry, construction, and material choices in two adjacent homes in Dubai, a project by the Pritzker Prize laureates, RCR. These architects are renowned for built works that are deeply responsive to the landscape of their hometown in Spain's Catalonia region. Key formative projects and their entry into global practice are analyzed according to the concepts of place identity, material imagination, and the poetics of construction, a theoretical position with a long practical tradition. The idea of architecture as a constructional craft is related to the creative engagement with local matter and topography that are at the essence of RCR's way of designing and making. By situating their work within the region's challenges, we explore how their design methodology transforms into the unique characteristics of the desert. The dwellings, iterations of the same steel and concrete vaulting system, evoke dunes to offer a study in contemporary critical regionalism. By focusing on RCR's interpretation of Arabic geometry, the houses reveal the role of tectonics and materiality in the realization from concept to built form. We draw on onsite documentation, interviews, and drawings provided by the architects. In emphasizing the importance of regional responsiveness, the dynamics of international construction practice, and detailing, this study highlights essential issues for practitioners working in an increasingly global market.

Digital Media

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