Research Project 2

Values of the Design Parameters: Functional, Ethical, and Aesthetic Aspects

1. Uncovering Evidence of Design Integration

This project relates innovation to design in its relationship with industrial and corporate conception. It is considered that current formal innovations are associated with consumers’ identity values and meeting their needs and lifestyles, following criteria aimed at the sustainable development of diversified and fragmented production. Consequently, the responsibility of design encompasses many considerations to succeed, both in terms of high commercial acceptance through meeting consumer desires and social needs. Therefore, the focus is on project resolution, as since 1999, industrial design has adopted Design Based Learning (DBL) on three distinct stages for development: problem analysis, problem solution, and project report. Moreover, it is about sustainable development goals (SDGs). Accordingly, the leading philanthropic organizations are stimulating programs and partnerships with corporations. Hence, this project analyses the corporate planning phases under the DBL application during the design project. On the one hand, the analysis emphasizes the company’s legitimacy and the necessary sustainability practice by adopting environmental, social, and corporate governance. On the other hand, it questions Peter Behrens’ legacy regarding the standardization of corporate identity. Nonetheless, it is worth highlighting that the critical aspect is not the aesthetic; instead, the ethical aspects of the construction of the corporate image. Finally, through a theoretical foundation, the SDGs and the responsibility of design concerning the global and local contexts in its potential for social transformation are discussed. As a result, it is verified whether design integration is evidenced.

2. Designer’s Social Responsibility

The aim of this project is addressed to the design challenges regarding planning and involvement with the entire social structure. The focus is on the construction of knowledge, identification of problems, and search for solutions as primary factors of the designer’s social responsibility focused on the ethical values of sustainable development. Accordingly, this approach is outlined in three parts. The first refers to the historical background of the early impacts of the technological revolution on urban life, and consequently, on the values of a “romantic nature” in opposition to industrial development. In this respect, the bases for a worldview and utopias concerning a “back to nature” sense are presented with origins in European Romanticism. In the second part, the environmental scenario of sustainability is analyzed in its economic dimension, focusing on the social context of the emerging political agenda as the main challenge for corporations in the 21st century, which respectively concerns the challenges of architecture, design, and urban planning. In the last part, the sustainable development goals are discussed in terms of their complexity. The responsibilities of planners in design and architecture, especially for urban design, lie in planning for long-term purposes. The conclusion of this project is sought through qualitative research, verifying the need for planning based on ethical and aesthetic aspects of public policies for urbanization solutions.

3. Reducing Visual Pollution Toward a Smart City

This project aims to clarify technological development considerations of the communication design involving urban space, with cities’ empirical research moving toward the Fourth Revolution and sustainable development goals. Thus, the central question of this project analysis is: How to integrate the physical and virtual spaces through communication design toward a smart city? In this way, it has become increasingly necessary for communication design focused on media in urban spaces to solve some problems of “visual pollution.” The urban signage system is a communication system with its own language and codes. It is an international language of public spaces in large cities due to an empirical development process focused on functionality rather than aesthetics. In addition, the focus is on inhabitants’ perceptions of their urban environments and how they orient themselves and behave in the face of everyday experiences. To this end, regarding a smart city’s contemporary goals, one must primarily consider the interactions in urban centers through digital technology. However, urban interventions through digital technology must have a social meaning in their applications in visual settings, conditioning the aesthetic aspects as new concepts and, mainly, the functionality to serve everyone through a technicization of the organizational and implementation processes. In this sense, design communication has practical significance in daily life in society, due to its importance to solutions for communicative and signaling systems, as moving images in the sense of flow and connectivity. Consequently, this project qualitatively verifies the extension of the virtual world concerning the urban physical space in its implications on metropolitan daily life.

4. Evidencing Visual Values for Sustainability in Environmental and Urban Spaces

This research project integrates the art and technology of producing images and its relationship with the social sciences and humanities. This project focuses on two strictly convergent studies involved in environmental and urban spaces—the interactions between nature, architecture, framing photography, moving images, and media—to understand the current value of the aesthetic realm and its effect on sustainable development. This project explores space and time modalities in the interdisciplinary exchange between perception studies and moving images, theories, and editing effects—montages of fragments of environmental and urban scenarios. The objective is to prioritize the potential of cinematic representation: moving images in the transition from nature and architecture to a screen-mediated environment and framing photography through photosensitive surfaces and their digital counterparts. Some important aspects are considered, such as the inclusion of new subjects and objects in the field of perception. The potential use of cinema as an instrument of social transformation with the political-cultural power to form critical thinking is highlighted. These ideas are further related to the perception of movement: how one moves or is mediated in an environment or urban space and the limits of space digitization. This process implies a visual values as narrative that involves memory as much as the act of seeing. Memory is a process in which visual sequences are perceived and coordinated in the imagination. Insights are also shaped by how environmental and urban perceptions influence this interplay. Therefore, a conception of space is not developed independently of forms, nor is it entirely autonomous. However, the space-time perception of the elements of internal and external spaces or the connections between them always reflects the visual narrative’s conditions and material effects. In conclusion, this research project should offer theoretical, critical reviews and an in-depth analysis of the socio-historical importance of practical possibilities for environmental and urban spaces evidencing visual values for sustainability.