Collaborative Design Methodologies and Mental Health: Defigne - a Public and Health Case Study in Intellectual Disability Sector


The “defigne” project, a collaboration with Cercica, develops intervention methodologies responding to the limitations of intellectual development disorder in different contexts. The strategy proposes the progressive integration of design in organizations, seeking to analyze the degrees of influence of each intervention agent in the collaborative creation process implementation. This collaboration paved the way for the integration of creative methodologies in the social innovation sector, more specifically in direct action with users, encouraging and facilitating the development of new techniques resulting in potential innovative activities and products with a view to increasing efficiency in the execution of tasks or obtaining information on the impact on the user’s quality of life. These actions aim to achieve a more sustainable future with the improvement of the quality of life of these communities and more efficient procedures that can accelerate the proposed objectives. Taking into account the stages of design integration, the project aims to develop new services procedures and products through collaborative actions between the agents. This procedure will trigger a set of potential materials/objects/services, which, due to the potential of rapid prototyping tools, can be built without recoursing to third parties and with the added value of a real-time improvement to users’ responses/capacities.


João Bernarda
Assistant Professor, Design, UNIDCOM/IADE, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—New Agendas for Design: Principles of Scale, Practices of Inclusion


Co-Design, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Public Health, Intellectual Disability, Social Sustainability

Digital Media


Collaborative Design Methodologies and Mental Health (ppsx)