For this year’s Porto Design Biennale under the theme ‘Being Water: How we flow together and shape each other’ I designed three immersive, educational, and creative experiences aimed at families, inspired by works of the exhibition ‘Petrichor: the Smell of Rain’, curated by Fernando Brízio, on show at Casa do Design until 3 December.

Introduce children to what design is about and which processes a real designer uses through hands-on and professional-based workshops in an impactful way to ignite their interest.
Pave their way to become future designers, creatives in any field or co-designers through design thinking. Children’s rights oriented design activities and workshops engaging families and empowering children.

The DESIGNEDIN activities aim at promoting critical thinking, empathy, social awareness, problem-solving skills and a sense of civic responsibility and sustainability. 
Children are invited to better understand and value the element water from a new perspective. 
Design and art are fundamental to children’s development and represent a central part of children’s rights.

The approach towards activities shouldn’t merely revolve around the question, “What do we want the child to know and be able to do?” but should rather inquire, “What abilities is the child naturally inclined to develop at their current stage?” Rather than solely emphasizing our own objectives, it is vital to consider the interests and requirements of the children (Crain, 2003). If we genuinely prioritize children, our objective should be to craft engaging and effective exhibitions that cater to both children and their families. Achieving this necessitates the creation of exhibition environments that empower children to shape their own museum experiences.

Presently, it’s challenging for children and families to fully engage with museum exhibitions as they are typically tailored for adult experiences, offering limited interaction opportunities. Effectively addressing this issue requires time and effort in challenging institutions, artists, and curators to adapt and meet this essential need. By offering a robust educational service coupled with cultural mediation, we can equip children and their families with the necessary tools to engage meaningfully with museum exhibits.