From Useful Art to Service Design: Collaborating with Migrants for the Common Good


Exploring the areas of useful art and human-centred service design, the research presents an art and design hybrid practice that can be understood as transdisciplinary. The practice in question aims to develop alternative and innovative solutions that contribute to the sociocultural sustainability and inclusion of migrant communities and citizens living in disenfranchised urban areas in Lisbon and its surroundings. The case studies are presented as systematised art and design services that seek to enhance cultural issues and the creative process as a forum for conversation and as a way to establish a foothold in the new culture where the migrants aim to be integrated. A common denominator to all case studies is that they begin with a ludic engagement with the migrant citizens, followed by their participation in workshops to boost creativity, such as ceramic sculpture, pattern design, and cyanotype printing, among other initiatives. A significant part of this type of migrant-centred art and design service actions is the organisation of a specific exhibition after the workshop phase, which includes the participants and their families, as well as some local artists and representatives from local institutions and the public sector. With the support of a specific service with such a transdisciplinary approach, migrants assume a position as creative citizens and active participants in the transformation of society aiming for the common good.


Paula Reaes Pinto
Assistant Professor and Researcher, Art and Design, CHAIA | School of Arts | University of Évora, Évora, Portugal

Antonio Gorgel Pinto
Assistant Professor and Researcher, Design and Multimedia, IADE, Faculty of Design, Technology and Communication, European University, Lisboa, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


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


Social Innovation, Service Design, Useful Art, Participation, Migrants, Common Good

Digital Media

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