A Search for the Portuguese Cultural Identity Reflected in the Design of Products

By Carla S. M. Simão and Denis A. Coelho.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The main propose of this contribution is the identification of the contours of a possibly existent identity of Portuguese and Lusophone design. It was chosen to just analyze Portuguese and Brazilian design and from these two identities, extrapolate the Lusophone design identity. Similarities were sought between
Portuguese and Brazilian product designs, according to the analyzed products. An analysis of design products was then made, focusing on countries with design production of great international appreciation so that it would be possible to differentiate against Portuguese and Lusophone design. The analyzed countries and regions, as a means of differentiation were Scandinavia, which include the Nordic countries, Italy and Germany. To conclude this research and reflect it in a practical component, two conceptual designs were developed. One of them concerns a refrigerator that intends to reflect the Portuguese design identity, without disregard to new options, both in terms of material and technology currently available. In a second conceptual project, it was chosen to design a sofa with a special focus on Lusophone features. The latter differs from similar products in its versatility, having as main function that of a sofa but including foot supports that may also be used as stools when the sofa is turned upside down for use as a table.

Keywords: Design, Portuguese, Brazilian, Lusophone, Identity of the Design Production

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.171-194. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 6.042MB).

Carla S. M. Simão

Master of Science (Graduate), Technological Industrial Design Studies, Department of Electroemchanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Carla Sofia de Matos Simão studies Industrial Design in Universidade da Beira Interior. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2008 and her Master of Science studies in Industrial Design Engineering in 2010. She has a special interest on culture and furniture design.

Prof. Denis A. Coelho

Assistant Professor (Tenured), Technological Industrial Design Program, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Denis A. Coelho has been responsible for the creation and development in the University of Beira Interior of an entirely new program of studies in Industrial Design (undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s degree) and Technological Industrial Design (Masters program). He has also designed and helped design post-secondary programs of studies including Multimedia product development, E-commerce web applications and multimedia web applications. As a Mechanical Engineer with an Ergonomic Design and Production Management post-graduate education his research has focused in several areas. He has worked with car seat comfort (ergonomic design) and has also been interested in Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as providing a contribution to the advancement of ergonomic design methods. He has also participated and coordinated Multimedia design projects, focusing on the application of ergonomic guidelines at both the conceptual and application level. International exposure has included research performed in collaboration with Swedish and US universities, applied to the automotive and healthcare sectors.

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