Capa: Francisco Paiva, Catarina Moura (2016) Designa 2016 - ERRO(R). Communication  +  Philosophy  +  Humanities. .
Designa 2016 - ERRO(R)

by Francisco Paiva, Catarina Moura

Collection: Ars
Year of edition: 2016
ISBN: 978-989-654-361-7 (pdf)

Download PDF - 47398 KB


DESIGNA - International Conference on Design Research, adopts ‘Error’ as a motto for its 6th edition.

Traditionally depreciated for embodying unsuccess, failure, deceit, incorrectness, ignorance or even nonsense, “error” has an unattainable speculative potential, if for nothing else by the way it opposes the almost hegemonic culture of progress and success, that so much inspires Design activities. We believe it to be a suggestive theme, not only for project but also for theory and criticism of similarity and difference patterns facing norm or expectation, central to the practice and training of designers.

Error reports to the action of wandering, deviation, deceit and uncertainty, but also to the illusion that allows the assumption of awareness and doubt capable of clarifying the purpose of a programme or project. Error has obvious costs, but it also has value.

In the field of Design, the meaning of error has been underestimated, since it entails a performative potential able to annul the stigma of failure that even religious scatology attributes it. Error opens to the unexpected, being able to unveil involuntary and surprising dimensions from a process or a subject. More than an absolute error, we think about the relative error. The error that does not diminish, but amplifies the processes’ possibilities. The necessary error.

Considering that error allows progression is a complex matter, almost paradoxical, demanding the exploration of multiple clues, answers and variables. It matters to know how error as an exception may count in the learning process, either by showing us the limits to the norm, or by being a necessary step to perfect or understand subjects whose contours escape a “truth”, revealing the unlikely capable to shake the most positivist mental frames, as much as corrections and amendments enhance the subject’s level of awareness regarding certain situations.

Although error allows the achievement of knowledge and experience, improving resilience, it remains in contemporary society as a paradigm for what it may or may not be done. The way one relates to error denotes, therefore, a person or community’s maturity and ability to deal with their cultural boundaries. Having different types of error, from the heart, the will, from action, and so on, only the ones who dare are able to fail.

Assuming this risk, this year’s DESIGNA appeals to critical looks over non-homologated design processes and objects, able to arouse strangeness, produce an analysis of the unconformity, uncertainty and failed intents encompassed by the world’s complexity.

Error as a subject of a Design Conference comprehends in itself an entire ideological programme, with practical, theoretical, critical, pedagogical and even political implications. It is precisely to discuss this vast speculative field that we invite all designers, researchers and general academia to “labour in error”, submitting their communication proposals to DESIGNA’s 6th edition. 



Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
União Europeia
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional
Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade
Universidade da Beira Interior
2024  ©  Communication & Arts