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Talks & Lectures

  1. Decolonizing Service Design Ethics and Aesthetics

    Decolonizing Service Design Ethics and Aesthetics

    Abstract: Service Design draws heavily from ancient Greek Ethics and Aesthetics, beginning with the foundational theater metaphor that separates frontstage from backstage. When Service Design engages with cultures that do not cultivate the Greek canon, the decolonization challenge comes to the fore. People who work to decolonize their cultures wonder whether Service Design will remain […] - Apr 15, 2024
  2. Why I became a transdisciplinary design researcher

    Why I became a transdisciplinary design researcher

    Abstract: Twenty years of designing and researching across several disciplines led me to realize that transdisciplinarity is not the same as combining knowledge from different fields. Transdisciplinary design research means moving from one discipline to another to follow an expansive object. This is a reflection I presented as my first lecture in the MXD program […] - Apr 2, 2024
  3. Decolonizing Design Futures

    Decolonizing Design Futures

    Abstract: The never-fulfilling promise of a bright future has justified modern colonization for centuries. Modern design follows suit. Modern design has been exported to former colonies as a neutral, non-political way of making. The futures that came with them have contribute to maintain the coloniality of making, nurturing a sense of nostalgia and a conservative […] - Feb 28, 2024
  4. Dancing Algorhythms in the Theater of the Techno-Oppressed

    Dancing Algorhythms in the Theater of the Techno-Oppressed

    Presentation in the College of the Arts Fall 2023 Research Lightning Round, University of Florida. Abstract: Algorhythms are computer instructions that display recurrent logic and rhythm. They are introduced in our everyday life through digital technologies to structure our activities. The Theater of the Techno-Oppressed is a research program aimed at exploring the role of […] - Dec 14, 2023
  5. Designing between the possible and the impossible

    Designing between the possible and the impossible

    Abstract: The possible is relatively constituted to what is meant to be impossible. Whenever someone does something formerly known to be impossible, the possible expands, and a new frontier appears. Expanding this box is not trivial, though. Contradictions binding the dos and don’ts demotivate any naïve attempt to design at the border. Expansive design is […] - Oct 21, 2023
  6. The Struggle for Human Rights in Design

    The Struggle for Human Rights in Design

    Abstract: Human Rights are rarely discussed in Design, possibly because regulatory work is mostly seen as a border topic or outside the scope. However, Human Rights are not just about Law but also about Ethics, Morality, and Politics, growing topics in the design research agenda. The struggle for Human Rights is now a big thing […] - Oct 10, 2023
  7. Cascading oppression in design

    Cascading oppression in design

    Abstract: Oppression is not an isolated phenomenon that involves two persons: the oppressor and the oppressed. Oppression is a systemic contradiction that affects many persons, spreading through cascading effects and twisted positionalities. One oppression relation can affect another, generating the possibility for the same person to be both an oppressor and an oppressed in different […] - Sep 27, 2023
  8. El hacer como quehacer: notas para un diseño libre

    El hacer como quehacer: notas para un diseño libre

    En América Latina, la colonialidad del hacer nos impide valorar lo que ya hemos hecho y, a partir de ahí, hacer lo que hay que hacer. A menudo preferimos importar el diseño europeo en lugar de construir sobre gambiarras y otras formas populares de diseño. En Brasil, sin embargo, la resistencia a la colonialidad del […] - Apr 21, 2023
  9. Making work visible in the theater of service design

    Making work visible in the theater of service design

    Capitalist service design is grounded on a theater metaphor that guides service designers to make work invisible, away from customer scrutiny and public accountability. In this way, service design contributes to hiding the extreme work exploitation that digital service workers undergo, generating a situation where workers can only reclaim their visibility through striking. If service […] - Feb 24, 2023
  10. Can designers change systemic oppression?

    Can designers change systemic oppression?

    This talk was part of the Royal College of Art Symposium on Design and Systemic Change, organized by Product Design students. Abstract: Oppression is systemic as it is reproduced across social groups, generating complex patterns of domination. What can designers do to stop such reproduction? First, they need to acknowledge their role on the oppressor’s […] - Dec 12, 2022
  11. The coloniality of making and its resistance in Brazil

    The coloniality of making and its resistance in Brazil

    Summary: The coloniality of making refers to international relations of production that overvalue intellectual labor in developed countries and undervalue manual labor in underdeveloped countries. Design discipline plays a crucial role in maintaining the coloniality of making, establishing hierarchies between modes of designing existence in the world. The colonized populations’ ways of designing are considered […] - Dec 3, 2022
  12. Diseño y la colonialidad del hacer

    Diseño y la colonialidad del hacer

    Keynote addressed at the 13th International Conferences on Design History and Studies, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, October 2022. Resumen: La colonialidad del hacer se refiere a las relaciones internacionales de producción que sobrevaloran el trabajo intelectual en los países desarrollados y subvaloran el trabajo manual en los países subdesarrollados. Al garantizar esta desigualdad […] - Oct 23, 2022
  13. Ethics and aesthetics of the experience designed for the Other

    Ethics and aesthetics of the experience designed for the Other

    Keynote addressed in the A & D Visitors Series, School of Art & Design, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, October 2022. This is a provocative talk on design ethics that might spark a debate with the audience. The presenter will show well-known design products and processes that promise to deliver unique experiences. His critique of these […] - Oct 9, 2022
  14. Systemic oppression and systemic design

    Systemic oppression and systemic design

    Abstract: Álvaro Vieira Pinto, Paulo Freire, and Augusto Boal developed a systemic perspective on oppression based on Frantz Fanon. This perspective frames oppression as a contradiction that builds tension between different social groups. Systemic design can reproduce this contradiction unconsciously or let the oppressed see and recognize their oppressor. This short commentary pushes for a […] - Oct 4, 2022
  15. Diseño Ontológico Crítico y la Contradicción de la Opresión

    Diseño Ontológico Crítico y la Contradicción de la Opresión

    Ponencia a lo simposio de Arqueodiseño, X Reunión de Teoría Arqueológica de América del Sur TAAS Oaxaca 2022. Abstracto: Álvaro Vieira Pinto, Paulo Freire y Augusto Boal desarrollaron una teoría dialéctica de la existencia que permite comprender el papel de la opresión en el proyecto del ser. El oprimido no puede proyectarse a sí mismo […] - May 7, 2022
  16. Decolonizing Design Research towards the Pluriverse

    Decolonizing Design Research towards the Pluriverse

    Keynote, VIII Sustainable Design Symposium, UFPR, 2021. Abstract: Design research has historical roots in the modernity project, which violently subsumes non-modern diverse cultures into colonized monocultures. Design research is also well-grounded in the development discourse that justifies unequal exchanges between nations, institutions, and communities. However, design research is also a realm of dispute where critical […] - Apr 13, 2022
  17. Design pedagogy, the body, and solidarity in designing commons

    Design pedagogy, the body, and solidarity in designing commons

    Podcast interview for the Commoning Design & Designing Commons show, an initiative from the Interest Group Commons and Commoning of the IT University of Copenhagen. Listen to the podcast on Anchor. Transcript Speaker Key – GP Giacomo Poderi; FA Frederick van Amstel; SM Sanna-Maria Marttila; JS Joanna Saad-Sulonen Speaker Text GP Okay, welcome to this first […] - Apr 12, 2022
  18. Designing For / Designing Against

    Designing For / Designing Against

    Part of the Collective Praxis as Designing Radicality seminar hosted by the Counter-Framing Design project.  Abstract: Most design theories and design methods are crafted to support the current hegemonies in society. While trying to sustain these hegemonies, designers eventually realize they are unsustainable, unfair, or dehumanizing. Among them, designers who develop a bit of critical consciousness […] - Dec 10, 2021
  19. Designing relations in Prospective Design

    Designing relations in Prospective Design

    Prospective design is a new design approach developed at Federal University of Technology Paraná inspired by Carnegie Mellon University’s Transition Design approach. This short talk explains two of the differences between the approaches: 1) instead of focusing on alternative futures, Prospective Design focuses on alternative presents; 2) instead of framing situations as systems, it frames […] - Nov 12, 2021
  20. Design and Theater of the Oppressed

    Design and Theater of the Oppressed

    Summary: What does theater have to do with design? Theater of the Oppressed can provide great insights into recognizing and expanding the Designs of the Oppressed. Created by Augusto Boal in the 1970s, this form of theater became one of the most popular approaches for non-professional actors interested in doing politics through theater. The approach […] - Nov 3, 2021
  21. Technology-Mediated Oppression

    Technology-Mediated Oppression

    Summary: Can technology oppress or liberate people? This lecture introduces the Philosophy of Technology of Álvaro Vieira Pinto in dealing with this question. Vieira Pinto wrote extensively about cybernetics, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, and virtual reality’s role in mediating race, class, and colonial oppression, anticipating in the 1970s what STS scholars in other countries did in […] - Nov 3, 2021
  22. Designing against oppression

    Designing against oppression

    This talk presents the activity of the Design & Oppression, woven by design professors, students, and professionals from all over Brazil from the perspective of one of its cofounders. The network discussed and experimented with several ways of recognizing how design reproduces oppression in our society. As of late 2021, the network is interested in […] - Oct 29, 2021
  23. Investigar-crear para la liberación

    Investigar-crear para la liberación

    Esta charla és una reflexión acerca de mi condición existencial de investigador del diseño en un país subdesarrollado que no prioriza la ciencia para su desarrollo. En la condición de subdesarrollo, el investigador debe identificarse con la gente y con la gente crear proyectos de investigación libertadores. Así, se puede detener a los problemas locales […] - Oct 28, 2021
  24. Whither Designs of the Oppressed?

    Whither Designs of the Oppressed?

    Abstract: Designs of the Oppressed builds upon the work of Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, and Álvaro Vieira Pinto. These authors devised a critical view of being in the world as an existential project that can be oppressed or liberating. The oppressed project depends on exogenous existential projects like colonialism, patriarchy, and capitalism that do not […] - Oct 23, 2021
  25. Against Userism

    Against Userism

    This talk was submitted to Interaction21 and was not accepted by the selection committee. UPDATE 1: I am trying again to Interaction22. If you would like to back me up, please nominate me. UPDATE 2: It did not go through, so I gave up. Background: Designers like to picture themselves as heroes who can save […] - Oct 18, 2021
  26. Relational design and the contradiction of oppression

    Relational design and the contradiction of oppression

    Una charla en la sesión 8 de la Cátedra Diseño, Arte y Ciencia acogida pela Facultades de Artes y Diseño y de Ciencias Naturales e Ingeniería de la Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano (Colombia). Abstracto: El Diseño Relacional es una transformación profunda en la teoria y practica del diseño, en que se pierde el objeto para […] - Sep 21, 2021
  27. Radical Alterity in Experience Design

    Radical Alterity in Experience Design

    In Experience Design, we typically learn to design experiences for others, the users. While drawing this distinction between us and them, we block the potential to change who we are by designing for ourselves. Radical alterity means including the Other as part of the Self. It is a concept crafted on decolonial Brazilian anthropophagic tradition, […] - Jun 22, 2021
  28. Domesticated futures and monster aesthetics

    Domesticated futures and monster aesthetics

    So far, design has contributed mostly to domesticate futures for the colonized. Nevertheless, design can also serve decolonizing practices that bring back the contradictory nature of human futures. The domestication of the future is a colonialist strategy that reduces existential time to a desirable space of possibilities that can be designed, packaged, and sold to […] - May 18, 2021
  29. Feral Creative Practices

    Feral Creative Practices

    This panel conversation was recorded at Uroboros 2021 Festival. It explores the possibility of returning to the wild, or bringing the wild back to human creative practices. Frederick contributed with comments on using this concept to decolonize design and art from domesticated attitudes, based on body discrimination and hierarchies. At 31:30, he performs a cat […] - May 17, 2021
  30. Pluriversal Design Methods and Critical Ontological Design

    Pluriversal Design Methods and Critical Ontological Design

    Pluriversality might help recognizing ways of designing and knowing that have been ignored by universal methods of design, such as vernacular and indigenous techniques. Looking at design methods through an ethical perspective, scrutinizing their intentions, and choosing alternatives beyond the universal may be called Critical Ontological Design. This philosophical idea can be summarized as such: […] - May 6, 2021
  31. Designing for Liberation in Solidarity Economy Circuits

    Designing for Liberation in Solidarity Economy Circuits

    Solidarity economy is an approach for developing fair community exchanges and human development within capitalist societies, working as a semi-detached alternative economic circuit based on the principles of self-management. This talk summarizes the experience of the speaker in designing a self-management platform for solidarity economy circuits in Brazil, guided by the Latin-American ideal of liberation […] - Apr 15, 2021
  32. Designing for Liberation

    Designing for Liberation

    As institutions or individuals, design bodies have been weaponized for war, colonization, racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. This talk reports on the Designing for Liberation research program that, since 2010, engages diverse design bodies with the fight against all forms of oppression. This program unleashes designing potentials that have been prevented or […] - Apr 8, 2021
  33. Global South Futures of Design Education

    Global South Futures of Design Education

    The future is an ideology that preserves colonial and imperialist relations in the Global South. Design education can counter this ideology by encouraging the development of many futures of design education, through cultural hybridism, dialogue, and other ways of confronting the global South with the global North realities. This conversation starter was proposed to the […] - Dec 2, 2020
  34. Pedagogy of the Oppressed

    Pedagogy of the Oppressed

    This is a book summary for the Pluriversal Design Book Club. It is a short contextualized introduction to Paulo Freire’s magnum opus. The main feature of this introduction is a visual scheme to frame the historical-dialectical relationships developed throughout the book: oppression, banking education, and colonization. This scheme also considers the emergence of third forces […] - Oct 30, 2020
  35. Latin American Service Design

    Latin American Service Design

    This is not a presentation about the best Service Design projects in Latin America. It is more like an attempt to rethink Service Design from a Latin American perspective, bringing to the fore the contradictions that are behind design problems and that are usually overlooked. In this guest talk, part of CIID‘s Service Design class […] - Sep 28, 2020
  36. Course design and design (in)discipline

    Course design and design (in)discipline

    Course design and design (in)discipline (2020) was a talk given at the Innovative practices in higher education panel from UTFPR teaching seminars. UTFPR has been conducting debates and workshops on Course Design, a pedagogical approach that aims to promote innovation in education. Despite borrowing the term Design, this loan does not reach cutting-edge research in […] - Apr 27, 2020
  37. Thinking with the whole body

    Thinking with the whole body

    Thinking with the whole body (2020) was a workshop offered in UTFPR teaching seminars. The Technological University usually stimulates its students to think primarily with the brain, ignoring the biological and social support of this organ. Physical activity is restricted to complementary activities, which are isolated from the primary processes of learning, assessment, and knowledge […] - Apr 27, 2020
  38. Design and other types of thinking

    Design and other types of thinking

    Design and other types of thinking (2020) was a workshop offered in UTFPR teaching seminars. Design thinking is a contemporary approach to innovation, entrepreneurship, project development, and education that makes designers’ thinking accessible to professionals in other areas. While it has drawn attention to creative processes typical of design, this approach has overshadowed the thoughts […] - Apr 27, 2020
  39. Designing Experiences for Personal Transformations

    Designing experiences is an uncontrolled, experimental, exploratory, and ethical process which can lead to personal transformations. This lecture presents the types of experiences which can transform someone’s life, how this transformation may happen and key principles for designing them. http://multimidia.usabilidoido.com.br/podcasts/tranformation_design.mp3 Download Designing Experiences for Personal Transformations lecture [MP3] - May 10, 2019
  40. Experience Design lecture

    Experience Design lecture

    In this lecture at UTFPR, I explain the origins of Experience Design and discuss the concept of experience from a cultural-historical perspective. I also present four design approaches: linear, a-mazing, theatrical, and total. These approaches do not apply solely to digital channels, in fact, all of them emphasize to consider spaces, activities and things equally. […] - Apr 2, 2019
  41. Pattern-based codesign

    Pattern-based codesign

    Design patterns deconstructs the myth that design projects are created by a single consciousness, the lonely designer. Every project, be that developed by a single designer or by a design team, reproduces common patterns that society at large cultivates. Card decks collect and organize design patterns with common problems and solutions in a certain design […] - Nov 22, 2018
  42. Lego prototyping

    Lego prototyping

    Lego is a great tool to build early prototypes of games and apps. I like. to stimulate students to supplement talking with making to increase shared understanding. Physical prototypes are quicker to build together in a team and can be used to test if ideas work in the real world. In this video, participants learn […] - Nov 22, 2018
  43. Emotion freezer cultural probe

    Emotion freezer cultural probe

    Emotion freezer cultural probe (2018) was a short talk given at PUCPR teaching seminar. In order to understand the pressures that students experience in their daily lives and to use them as a project theme in the Interaction Design course, a Cultural Probe called emotion freezer was sent to each student. This probe was made […] - Apr 27, 2018
  44. 2020XP

    2020XP

    2020XP was an immersive experience held by Aldeia Coworking to draw attention to the development of 21st-century skills in organizations. The experience was spread through 5 different locations across the city, each with its own theme. Frederick was responsible for the creativity experience, which used Lego to stimulate creativity in many different ways. The goal […] - Apr 26, 2018
  45. Barriers to design studio pedagogy

    Barriers to design studio pedagogy

    Barriers to design studio pedagogy (2017) was a short talk given at PUCPR teaching seminar. The main barriers for conducting the studio pedagogy in the Digital Design undergraduate course were: the fragmentation of the course in isolated topics, the lack of autonomy of students, the academic requirements of the final work and the divergence of […] - Apr 27, 2017
  46. Design ethnography with activity theory

    Design ethnography with activity theory

    Design ethnography is a field study method which aims at uncovering user needs and innovation opportunities. Through this method, anthropologists can help understand the context, bringing up semantic, emotional, and social issues that may represent innovation opportunities. However, most design ethnographies are not carried out by trained anthropologists. Design ethnography is typically conducted by designers themselves, […] - Oct 28, 2016
  47. Contradiction-driven design

    Contradiction-driven design

    I have developed for my Design Thinking course a comprehensive explanation on how design can be part of big transformations in society. Instead of making changes to society, as in the paradigm of “social impact”, I teach my students to discover transformations already in course, understand them, and support them. The concept of contradiction is key to my approach: a unite […] - Oct 28, 2016
  48. Design thinking applied to the final work

    Design thinking applied to the final work (2016) was a short talk given at PUCPR teaching seminar. The talk shares the experience of using design thinking for supporting Digital Design students in their final work. The approach was useful for finding themes according to user and audience needs and desires. Through organized collaboration between students, […] - Apr 27, 2016
  49. Designing with contradictions

    I just made a pecha-kucha presentation about my PhD research in 6’40”. I try to explain what I mean with Expansive Design, the design approach I’m building up that takes advantage of social contradictions, instead of trying to solve them. Contradictions are social relationships that have a long history and cannot be solved by any […] - Mar 12, 2014
  50. Contradictions in the design space

    Contradictions in the design space

    van Amstel, F., Zerjav, V., Hartmann, T., van der Voort, M., and Dewulf, G. (2014) Contradictions in the design space, in Lim, Y., Niedderer, K., Redström, J., Stolterman, E. and Valtonen, A. (eds.), Design’s Big Debates – DRS International Conference 2014, 16-19 June, Umeå, Sweden. https://dl.designresearchsociety.org/drs-conference-papers/drs2014/researchpapers/99 - Feb 17, 2014
  51. Grounding the flying triangle: activity theory and the production of space

    Grounding the flying triangle: activity theory and the production of space

    Amstel, F.M.C. van; Hartmann, T; Voort, M. van der; Dewulf, G.P.M.R. (2014) Grounding the flying triangle: activity theory and the production of space. In: Proceedings of the European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium, Rotterdam. - Feb 14, 2014
  52. Interaction Design as a Cultural Project

    Interaction Design as a Cultural Project

    I’ve been very lucky to attend Interaction 12 in Dublin last week. Everything was so well organized and still with a human touch. The conference allowed a lot of networking between presentations. There was large corridors and rooms for side conversations, which for me are the best part of going to conferences. On the background […] - Feb 8, 2012