Design & Innovation – Special Track

The Special Track on “Design & Innovation” is promoted by Valter Cardim, from IADE – The Creative University.

Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger (Cfr. Rodnik: 1977), two young German physicists turned to ashes all the grounds of Classical Physics in a conference in Brussels, in 1927. The fastidious discourse is remembered as “Uncertainty principle” of Heisenberg, who put aside the pretension of traditional physicists to “absolutely” predict the subatomic reality. The Uncertainty Principle affirmed that it is not possible to know exactly the position and the speed of a giver particle. Any tentative to know both at the same time would be a failure. The higher would be the measurement of one, the less precise would be the measurement of the other. The ideas of Heisenberg and Schrodinger put the basis to all subsequent development of quantic physics. 

The relevance of the Uncertainty Principle crossed the border to other scientific domains. Finkelstein (1983), engineer and industrial designer, suggested that the Design was ”a creative process that starts from one condition and defines a plan or a system and the methods for its execution so as to satisfy the initial condition. It is a human primary activity, central for engineering and applied arts” .

Gregory (1966) suggests that “the design process is the same whether it is about planning a new oil refinery, a cathedral or about writing Dante’s Divine Comedy”. Wilmar do Valle Barbosa (1986) alerts us to the postmodern scenario, essentially cybernetic and informational. We start to see science, art and other knowledge approaches as specifi ways to organize, stock and disseminate information. For him, the postmodern age is marked by the natural and artificial languages, by the increase of interest in knowing how human brain, life mechanisms, artificial intelligence, communication and cybernetics, databases and informatics are structured and work.

So, art nowadays is more like a project; art is no more about intuition and inspiration. From an art project to design concepts, as an act to plan products, we reach the idea of design as something applicable to any creative activity, that innovates and renovates all around us, as well as all that stays in our imaginary.

So if the first industrial revolution was about the machines, about the analytic vocation, the second one was about electronics and communication means, about the synthetic vocation. The third will, most probably, when reaching the top, project us towards scenarios that we see and feel right now, and that promotes us to ask what is the role of design right now, tomorrow, 20 years from now? What contributions may it give to the construction of a new reality, more human, more interactive, fairer, less criminal, more cheerful, more intuitive, more alive…..?

The Special Track on Design and Innovation looks forward to receive submissions that focus on these matters, and specifically on the link between design and innovation in a wide perspective. The following types of submissions are welcomed (and feel free to innovate, too): Case Studies; Applied Design; Design and Design History, Design Processes Applied to Innovation; Re-branding Design; Ecological / Green Design; Design and Sustainability; Design and Environment; Web Design; Color and Design; Urban Design.


* V. Rodnik, Que és la Mecanica Quantica?, Moscou, Mir, 1977, transl. by Antonio Molina Garcia, 91 – 125.

* Finkelstein, L. e Finkelstein, A.C.W. “Review of Design Methodology”, In “IEEE Proceedings”, vol. 130(4), PtA, July l983.

* Gregory, S.A.. “The Design Method”, London, Butterworths, l966 – apud Lawson, Bryan. “How Designers Think”, London, “The Architectural Press”, l986, pg.23.

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