Non-digital ideas on social interaction? Meet “The Power of Design” challenge by the UP

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Fiipa Brito

The University of Porto opened an international competition to find a design solution that solves the pandemic conviviality crisis and provides fresh interpretations of social interactions. Applications are open until 15th March. First prize is three thousand euros.

The Power of Design is the theme of the international competition launched by the University of Porto (UP). Here goes: if you know how to “re-establish embodied conviviality beyond Covid-19” you are just the perfect ideas away from three thousand euros and the possibility that your project enters the market, boosted by the University of Porto. The main requirement is that your project is “not based on digital technologies”, as the focus is finding alternatives to “technologically-intensive means of communication” that have taken on a major role in our lives amid the ongoing pandemic.

Thanks to Covid-19, social interaction is under heavy scrutiny as everyone must follow strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19; thus, applicants from any field or personal background or from anywhere in the globe are invited to submit their ideas “as long as they do not have a digital component and meet the competition guidelines”.

Everyone is eligible to participate, from whatever part of the world; applicants must look back on a life of direct physical human interaction and present the best ideas for future situations that demand restrained social interactions. The best application wins three thousand euros, plus the opportunity to be published in a renowned design magazine and the public display at the Hall of Biodiversity – Ciência Viva Center of the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto.

António Ferreira, Senior Researcher at CITTA - Centre for Research on Territory, Transports and Environment, University of Porto, proposed this idea that is also promoted by the This competition is promoted by Casa Comum – University of Porto, CITTA - Centre for Research on Territory, Transport and Environment, FEUP: Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto – Hall of Biodiversity – Ciência Viva Center.

UP website states as follows: “Do you have an idea capable of making people to go back to the streets, schools and workplaces, join family reunions and festivities? Do you think that such idea will be in some way useful or appealing even after the COVID-19 pandemic will be over? Can this idea promote us to care for each other, non-humans and the natural environment better? If you are intrigued by this challenge, allow your creativity to express itself and send us your idea! Maybe you will initiate the solution for a key global problem.”

You have until 15th March to win three thousand euros and to come up with fresh interpretations of social interactions. Be sure to read the competition regulation carefully.