Porto Design Biennale 2021 - Open Call for Projects

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Porto Design Biennale 2021 - Open Call for Projects

Porto Design Biennale 2021 - Open Call for Projects now is over!

Porto Design Biennale 2021 - Open Call for Projects: Satellite Activities: Open Call for Projects / PDB’21 invites designers, cultural agents and social innovators to submit projects addressing the theme of the second edition of Porto Design Biennale - Alter-Realities: Designing the Present.

Short description

Open Call for Projects Porto Design Biennale ’21 invites designers and cultural agents to present projects that are able to enrich the reflection on the general theme ’Alter-Realities: Designing the Present’ in the areas of exhibitions/installations, interventions/events, collaborations/co-productions, workshops/training, discussion/colloquia, and publishing/editions.

This edition, operating in pandemic times, asks: How can we make and prototype together, reveal, critique and amplify Alter-Realities in order to reorientate ourselves towards futures where trust in each other is restored, where regeneration not destruction is evident, and where we find a new relationality between us and Others?

It aims to do this by working across and activating the cities of Porto and Matosinhos from the macroscale of infrastructures, landscapes and terrains to micro and nano spaces; from the formal to informal places of encounter; and from human to beyond human entities.

Projects can address specific sub-themes independently or combine them. These sub-themes are:

Alter-Scapes: creating new perceptions of the city as a means to reorientate ourselves. What systems, objects, maps and interventions can we create to shift our current perceptions through alternative cartographies, mobilities, architectures and/or energy flows to “see” and experience our cities differently?

Alter-Care: care not only as a matter of human life, but of all life, as continuous struggle, empathy, notions of Otherness, and in the cause of women’s rights. Women continue to bear the burden of caring for families, dependents and others. How do we materialize design as care? How can this improve the lives of women and girls? How do we deal with cultural, social and political differences in notions of care?

Alter-Production: modes of production that can re-invigorate communities, neighborhoods, craftspeople, small-scale industries, local food production, urban habitats and more. How might we combine local resources with open everything (design, production, software, information, knowledge) to reimagine ways of making things, services and experiences?

Alter-Livelihoods: applying modes of designing that encourage autonomy, new relations and ways of being to explore more fulfilling ways of living, working, playing and giving/receiving. How can we co-construct these livelihoods through design to give us pleasure, restore our dignity and protect our well-being? Can design slow us down, help us find meaningful work and generate novel forms of income?

Projects should:

Encourage participation of citizens, amateurs and professionals;
Experiment through materializing and prototyping;
Develop processes to facilitate engagement;
Build tactical and strategic alliances;
Encourage new social imaginaries;
Create fruitful, pleasurable and meaningful experiences;
Promote walking as a means to navigate, explore and inhabit the present.

The projects to be supported, in a maximum of 10, will autonomously integrate the Satellite Activities programming of the PDB’21 Alter-Realities: Designing the Present and must be held or exhibited during the PDB’21, between June 4th and July 25st, 2021.

Authors must choose and propose their venue[s] of preference, necessarily located in the territorial scope of the two cities that promote the PDB – Porto and Matosinhos.

Who may enter?

This Open Call for Projects seeks to gather transversal/complementary views on design, being therefore open to individual and/or collective designers of any fields of expertise and nationality. Individual agents may be admitted as long as they are of legal age. Collective applications are also accepted.


Monetary support is granted to the projects selected by the Jury, depending on their type, relevance and size/dimension. Monetary support may cover the full or partial implementation of the projects.

The total sum of € 60,000 is available in this call for projects and shall be allocated according to the specific budget of each project, in grants limited to the following levels: 9.000€, 6.000€, 3.000€.

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