The Design Dimension on XXI Century — The Rise of Design Part 1

Definition and Development of the Design Concept

Internationally, a lot has been spoken and still be talking about Design. However, in contrast, I do not feel the same when I search for content within my country media -Portugal-, or on academic or ludic contexts. I realize that we do not (yet, perhaps!) have a huge inheritance or legacy within the theoretical dimension of the discipline. However, this cannot be a hindrance or an excuse not to bother talking and discussing more the role of design in our lives. With this gap in mind, I was determined to contribute, with what I may, to shape this scenario.

Therefore, practically as a manifest, I decided to roll up my sleeves and shape this small and symbolic study exposing the gaps that the design currently faces, especially in the Portuguese panorama, and even internationally. But above all, exalt the opulence of design in all its grandeur and magnitude in all fields of its activity.

But before we delve into the subject, it is important for me to clarify two circumstances. First, the main ambition of this series of texts is to provide a moment of introspection and reflection to people who like and want to think about design; Second, although these texts are dedicated to the dependence between Design and History and its respective evolution and what impact this trajectory have in the present and will have in the future of the discipline. These texts will not be a study on design history, in a sense of mapping its artists and their aesthetic considerations and objects. On the contrary, I above all, I intend to shape the way people see Design today.

And why is it important to make readers aware of this duality between Design and History? According to Fry et al (2015, p. Viii):

Design history dominantly fails to recognize the historical significance of design.

Therefore, this is a serious issue. Because what is projected today will have an impact on the destiny of mankind to a significant degree. For them, at the heart of this argument is the recognition that in the deep complexity of the modern world there is a growing need for an understanding of the presence of the past. History, like the past, is always a construction of the present. A little cliché, but certainly understanding the past can draw lessons for the future.


Fry, Tony. 2015. “Whither Design / Whether History.” In Design and the Question of History, 1st ed., 320. Bloomsbury Academic.

Passionate about Human-centered AI and UX researcher. Experience Design Lead @Emergn

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