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Porto Design Biennale

Porto and Matosinhos will host the 2023 edition between October and December. Being Water" will be the central theme and Spain the guest country


The Porto Design Biennale will return to Porto and Matosinhos this year for its 3rd edition. It kicks off on October 19 and runs until December 3. This year, the theme in focus is water, curated by designer Fernando Brízio.

Organised by esad-idea, Design and Art Research and promoted by the municipalities of Porto and Matosinhos, the Porto Design Biennale aims to promote Portuguese Design in dialogue with the global context, assuming the importance of the discipline in the production of culture and critical knowledge and in responding to the most pressing contemporary issues.

The event already assumes an international dimension, enhancing and expressing the public strategy for design shared by Porto and Matosinhos.

The affirmation of design in these two municipalities has stood out in the last few years, being a bet for continuity and future, present in their cultural strategies. In this way, the Biennale takes shape in the cultural equipments and public spaces of these territories.

The 2023 edition of the Porto Design Biennale starts from the most fundamental element, Water, to discuss and think about the role of Design in the emerging environmental survival.

The central theme "Being Water - How we collectively flow and shape ourselves", will enhance the meeting of national and international voices in a debate on one of the most essential and indispensable natural elements: Water.

Curated by Fernando Brízio, the set of exhibitions, conferences, workshops and publications that are the programme structure of the Porto Design Biennale aims to be an incubator of responses to the complex challenges facing society, working continuously to shape more sustainable, equitable, free and happy futures. Spain will be highlighted as a guest country in a programme that works on the close relationship with the territory and the industry of Galicia, curated by David Barro.

At the press conference to present the 3rd edition of the Porto Design Biennale at Esad-Idea - Research in Design and Art, in Matosinhos, this morning, the curator, researcher and designer Fernando Brízio explained that the theme formulated was water as something that "is everywhere", that "shapes everything" and without which life would not be possible, reminding that in 2023 a 40% deficit of water is expected in relation to demand.

Luísa Salgueiro, Mayor of Matosinhos, joined the presentation session of the 2023 edition of the Porto Design Biennale highlighting the importance that an event like this has in a context of development of our city and in this vision of joint territory that is Porto and Matosinhos. "The bet on holding a design event such as the Porto Design Biennale is an example, among many others, of Porto and Matosinhos joining forces, even at a complex time of resource and budget management", said Luísa Salgueiro. "For us, the important thing is that the community feels design as something of its own, as an integral part of its territory and not as a discipline just for some," she added. Starting in October, we will meet not at the press conferences, but where everything will happen. We are waiting for you", he concluded.

The Vice Mayor of Matosinhos, Carlos Mouta, the Councillor for Culture, Fernando Rocha, the Councillor for Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Marta Pontes, and the Councillor for Sports, Vasco Pinho, as well as Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto and Magda Seifert, Executive Director of the Porto Design Biennale, also attended this session. The curators, Fernando Brízio and David Barro, other board members such as Sérgio Afonso and representatives from Galicia and the guest country also joined the moment.

The opening of applications to participate in the event begins today and the closing of applications ends on 26 June, with the announcement of results on 25 July and the signing of contracts on 9 August.

The 3rd edition of the Porto Design Biennale will start on 19 October and continue until 3 December 2023.

The event is supported by the Porto and Matosinhos city halls, the municipalities where the exhibition spaces will be located.

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