‘Being Water’ Influences Dialogue at Porto Design Biennale 2023

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‘Being Water’ is the theme of the upcoming 2023 Porto Design Biennale, which will take place in Porto, Portugal. The event, co-hosted by Porto and Matosinhos, aims to explore the multifaceted nature of water and its impact on design. With a diverse range of activities including installations, workshops, and conferences, the biennale provides a platform for designers and practitioners to immerse themselves in the ever-changing currents of contemporary design.

The principal curator, Fernando Brízio, describes the biennale as a “transdisciplinary laboratory” that will delve into the visible and invisible aspects of water. From October to December 2023, the event will showcase exhibitions, discussions, and initiatives that highlight the relationship between design and the natural world.

One of the main exhibitions of the biennale is ‘Petrichor’ curated by Fernando Brízio himself. The exhibition explores the sensory, historical, and physical intricacies of water through various design projects. Another exhibition, ‘CATHARSIS’ curated by Margarida Mendes, focuses on transdisciplinary projects related to hydrographic basins around the world.

The biennale also offers interactive experiences for visitors. The ‘Testing the Waters’ tour allows participants to explore Porto while discussing water scarcity and social design. Workshops like ‘Mud Matters’ and ‘Reusing Furniture’ showcase sustainable design practices by repurposing waste materials and objects.

The theme of water is explored in various forms throughout the biennale. Chef Rui Mota’s workshop on molecular gastronomy delves into the concept of water sustainability through recipes and tastings. Studio Makkink & Bey’s exhibition, ‘The WaterSchool Classroom,’ offers a journey through the different aspects of water by transforming gallery rooms into ‘Cabinets of Curiosities.’ Additionally, the film cycle ‘Dive-in’ explores the connections between design, water, and society through screenings, talks, and installations.

In keeping with its tradition, the Porto Design Biennale extends its reach beyond Portugal. The 2023 edition will highlight Galicia, Spain, a region with a rich cultural connection to water. The exhibition ‘Processes and Forms’ traces the journey of Galician design and its relationship with water.

Overall, the Porto Design Biennale 2023 promises to be an immersive and thought-provoking event that explores the complex relationship between water and design. With its diverse range of activities, exhibitions, and discussions, the biennale offers a platform for designers and practitioners to engage with and generate research on the subject.

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