Convergences - Journal of Research and Arts Education is an open access journal dedicated to scientific research, having DOI and E-ISSN, which publishes articles in the areas of design, music and visual arts, evaluated in a double-blind peer review system.
The Convergences Journal publishes free of charge, in open access, the original results evaluated by peers, which explain experiences and results from research and practice in the areas of design, music and the visual arts. Through Original papers, Case Reports or Review Papers, by by professionals researchers and scholarly contributors, it promotes knowledge related to the activities of design, music and other visual arts in all its domains of application, as well as its history, its teaching and learning.
The authors and readers of this journal are mainly professionals, students, researchers and scholars from all fields of design, music and visual arts at an international level.
Convergences is published in May and November of each year and accepts papers written in Portuguese, English or Spanish. In 2021, Convergences Journal limited to publishing a maximum of 12 articles per issue, totaling 24 articles per year.
Call for papers is permanently open.
E-ISSN (Online) 1646-9054
ISSN (Print) 2184-0180
Vol. 15 No. 30 (2022)
Sustainability in Design Projects
A proposal to apply sustainability to education and professional practice
Higher education institutions have a responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable development. However, this contribution hasn’t always been consequential, especially when the focus is more on the construction of mere tools for sustainability, than on the process of internal transformation. That is, on the development of a true training for sustainability, consequently for a curriculum more oriented towards sustainability and with valid contributions for sustainable development, namely in the regions where they are based. On the other hand, ecodesign analysis tools, namely checklists, have been used successfully in companies, but also in education, and have made an important contribution to sustainability, fundamentally in the environmental and economic dimensions. Consolidated experiences in these areas have shown that employing these tools implies a contextualization of their use, in the case of their application in a teaching context, among students, or in a business environment, among professionals. It depends on the social, economic, and business context of the region or country, but, in the specific case of an application in education, it also depends on the type of subjects and the teaching and learning methods.
In addition, the usefulness of the checklists is observed in various contexts of everyday life, but also in the professional environment and in teaching, as it is a tool that can help teachers and students to guide projects towards the final objectives, also valuing the process of getting there.
The present study emerged from an investigation carried out within the scope of sustainability in communication design projects, involving several curricular units of a communication design course. Its final objective is to formulate a proposal for the application of sustainability to education and professional practice in this field of design. The main intention is to encourage design practices that consider aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability, consolidating the training of students for a more sustainable development.
At the methodological level, the study was grouped into four phases of action. In the first phase, the state of the art was analysed, the most appropriate method was chosen – an Ecodesign Checklist – and developed to evaluate communication design projects and to introduce improvements in products sustainability and design projects.
Three curricular units from the third year of the Communication Design bachelor’s degree were selected, which allowed to carry out the communication design project (Communication Design IV subject), create ecodesign strategies (Sustainable Design subject) and plan their graphic production (Graphic Production I subject). Within this context a packaging and labelling design problem was defined as the project to be carried out evolving the subjects, having in mind the importance that this area of design has in the region where the school is located. To this end, an Ecodesign Checklist for Packaging and Labelling was developed, which allowed the design aspects for sustainability to be articulated between the three curricular units.
In a second methodological phase, the Packaging and Labelling Ecodesign Checklist, was implemented and a first assessment study was carried out, regarding the potential contributions to the main aspects of sustainable development and to the training and curriculum of students involved. In addition to put in practice the Packaging and Labelling Ecodesign Checklist, surveys were also carried out with the involved students, in order to assess the impact of using the method on their curricular training and on their design practices.
It is expected that in a third phase, this study can be applied to other subjects of the Communication Design degree and in a fourth phase to be extended to professional practice.
This article presents the first analyses and reflections obtained in the first two methodological phases of this investigation, evaluating the importance of conducting the inquiry into a more holistic perspective, which includes a curriculum and training for sustainability, transposing the limits of the design project or of the designed products. It is also presented here the study contributions evaluation, specifically the Ecodesign Checklist for Packaging and Labelling, for the “Sustainable Development Goals - 2030” in Portugal and in the region where the higher education institution is located, highlighting the aspects considered as fundamental, and within the reach of design and communication designers.
The first presented results are exploratory, as the intention is to develop the study by comparing results on a continuous basis. The evaluation of the Packaging and Labelling Ecodesign Checklist was carried out considering the academic universe in which it was implemented and intends to establish improvement parameters for its use. These parameters include the ease of use of the Checklist; the achievement of ecodesign objectives and of social and economic sustainability; and the contribution to students' training in the scope of sustainability. Some of the criteria initially defined for this study, specifically criteria related to collaborative practices applied to the field of design, were conditioned by the constraints of social confinement. However, it is expected to apply and test these criteria in the next round of the Ecodesign Checklist implementation.
Fashion events during the Covid-19 pandemic:
the experience of digital OCTA Fashion
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of fashion's creation, production, communication, and consumption. The standards of social isolation and the closure of airports made it impossible to hold in-person fashion events. In such a scenario, brands and designers found solutions to launch their collections. At the University of the State of Santa Catarina, the impossibility of returning to in-person activities led to the promotion of the graduation show, OCTA Fashion, digitally. This article presents an experience report of the organization and the execution of the event OCTA Fashion, demonstrating how tasks were divided into work teams. As a result, the fashion film was launched in December 2021
The role of illustration in pediatric hospitalization.
A collaborative project between ESAD and Pedro Hispano’s Hospital of Matosinhos
Health services, in particular pediatric units in a hospital, are increasingly committed to human well-being, on the one hand by researching more effective treatments, on the other hand by promoting emotional well-being for their patients, caregivers and professionals. The investment in making hospital environments and services more humane is evident in several studies and projects disseminated around the world. Even so, and despite these efforts, most people continue to have a negative feeling when they think of a hospital. For an institution whose main objective is to preserve and restore health, a negative impression or a feeling of discomfort can be seen as a factor of stress that does not contribute to the patients’ quick recovery. Although fear or stress reduction values are difficult to quantify, empirical evidence shows that there are intangible factors crucial for the patients’ recovery and well-being 1.
This is an issue of increasing importance, therefore this paper will analyze how illustration can play a decisive role in the child’s perception and overall experience in hospital. It will also evaluate how illustrators and storytellers' commitment in creating a positive, playful and comfortable environment for patients and caregivers has been recognised by the whole community. The process of adapting an illustrated children’s picture book to a specific hospital area, its effectiveness and how it can reach other audiences, will be widely analyzed.
Design storytelling through archive materials
Industrial design intended as cultural heritage is witnessing a period's industrial production and creative thought; this legacy needs to be shared with a broader audience. The Milan area is full of studios and ateliers, where most Italian design projects were born. Even though they are no longer operating, these locations are still linked to the creative process and convey the atmosphere of the golden age of Italian design. Design research is essential in investigating archives' potential in constructing historical narratives and new research paths and learning tools. The paper describes two case studies for enhancing Design Culture through digital technology. A digitisation project for the archive of the famed Italian modeller Giovanni Sacchi to link heterogeneous data – sketches, technical drawings, images, physical models – to create an overall view of the design process and highlighting the creative thought. The second describes LfAC, a mobile location-based application designed to lead visitors to discover Achille Castiglioni's projects in downtown Milan: works are valorised and brought back to life through contextual contents delivered to visitors' smartphones.
Understanding user experience of an open design-clothing product.
Few studies related open design to the clothing sector, but none explored how users would experience it. The study reported here aimed to investigate how people with some or without prior sewing knowledge - advanced and amateur users – experience an open design-clothing product. Following four fashion design heuristics, a garment was created and distributed as DIY kits among advanced and amateur users. Data were collected in two stages: assembly and personalization. The results indicate that although skills play a significant role during assembly, other factors, like cross-generational differences and personal taste, influence how users experience an open design product. Furthermore, the study shows that given the necessary support, the open design can be used by a heterogeneous public, amplifying the participation of users with little or without prior sewing skills in clothing co-creation.
The history of art in front of the image
The present pages intend to discuss the history of art history. In order to reach the desired objective, it starts with the first texts written in Antiquity. Then, the painting treatises written from the 14th century onwards and the inaugural text of the history of art that was “born” in that Renaissance were discussed. Then, the methodological changes established by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, in the 18th century, were mentioned. From the 19th century, the openings proposed by Alois Riegl and Aby Warburg were highlighted. Of the many relevant art historians of the 20th century, the concepts defended by Erwin Panofsky, Heirich Wölfflin and Ernst Gombrich were prominent. Finally, the current historiographic changes undertaken by two noticeable names were indicated: Hans Belting and Georges Didi-Huberman.
“Coffee, Tea or Me?”
A critique contribute to a specific type of “aerial” object
Very specific areas of design engage all efforts to give an everyday life environment to the artificial ambience on board an airplane. The choreographed reception (and farewell) by the crew at the cabin door, or the ambience that surround us during flight are examples of that humanization applied to a culturally artificial and aseptic space. The meal is one of those instances that, besides satisfying the need for food, accomplish simultaneously a comforting moment and a disciplinary function. The service choreography and the objects that surround its stages are covered with unique technical, functional and symbolic values that differentiate them from regular meals at ground level. We paid a visit to the on-board environment of Portuguese airplanes during the incipient 40’s and 50’s until a more open and mature design attitude during the 80´s.
Fashion Transmedia Storytelling.
A study of the Gucci Off The Grid advertising campaign
This paper is configured as a part of the final work of the Fashion Design Degree from the University [omitted for blind review]. It aims to examine the phenomenon of transmedia storytelling as a strategy for fashion communication in the pandemic context. The methodological design included a literature review, and the analysis of the campaign of the first line of sustainable products of the Italian brand Gucci, called Gucci Off The Grid, from the perspective of the convergence culture and based on the seven principles of the transmedia storytelling formulated by Jenkins (2009). As a result, it was verified that the analyzed campaign built storytelling broad enough to be explored in more than one media, successfully relating most of the principles of transmedia storytelling. However, it was noticed that Gucci could have explored, with more emphasis, the interactive authorship of the public, encouraging the sharing of storytelling on social networks.
Has Genderless Become a Fashion Design Label?
The word ‘genderless’ carries a cultural and social burden that hasn’t bestowed upon the general audience nor some of the most spoken about brands in the world. There have been top tier designers that have dipped their toes and tried to show a world without binary gender boundaries, but the message is still not accurate. If fashion design seeks its roots in the lifestyle of the beholder, than what lifestyle are some brands representing by showcasing their genderless ideas as neutral, basic and shapeless designs? Fashion is the art through which people can express themselves, but there always seems to be a limitation. The younger generations are questioning those limitations and establishing that we can wear what we want, as long as it’s representative of the gender we feel most, or not at all. There has been a surge of the word ‘genderless’ and several well-established brands are using it to promote, of what can only be pointed out as their marketing agendas. It’s important to understand that most of these brands haven’t done their homework and they haven’t talked to the people who actually go through the experience of a non-binary reality. The problematic isn’t necessarily the use of the word ‘genderless’, it’s the appropriation of the experience of people who aren’t even a part of the conversation. The present paper wants to explore how genderless seems to have become a label and a marketing move for brands and designers to try and engage with yet another audience. But also an exploration of how that is failing, especially when it comes to communicating and relating to the everyday experiences of people who live beyond the binary. Through contextual inquiries and personal interviews, we intent to dive into this experience of the world, with the positives and negatives, trying to sort if genderless is just a trend, or something else entirely.
Thinking the automobile.
A Design and Engineering intention?
The relationship between Design and Engineering has not its genesis in the 20th century. But it was in this century that the advantage of this association was perceived and came into existence. From the beginning of mass production in the early twentieth century came the need for bringing the two disciplines together: Design and Engineering.
Although Design and Engineering are two separate and independent disciplines, much of their applied field overlaps. The automotive product design and industry is a common ground where Design and Engineering strive to achieve, together, a common final product: the automobile.
This article aims to discuss how the development of the automobile throughout the 20th and 21st centuries was driven by Design and Engineering, opening the way for a deeper debate on the definition of this interaction.
A definition for the Product Development methodology from the Engineering and Design point of view is described, as well as the role of the Design and Engineering disciplines within the automotive product development. Methodologically, a historically relevant case study in the development of the automobile product is presented.
Mourning jewelry in late Georgian and Victorian Britain
a world of fantasy and tears
Mourning or memorial jewelry constituted one of the most emblematic traditions of death rituals in the cultural history of Great Britain since medieval times and even earlier. They symbolized the power of the human mind and soul to face death, to honor the memory of the dead and to keep it alive and intact in time and during the great challenges of life. Since the end of the eighteenth century and during the long nineteenth century, in addition to being indicative values of the cultural and social development of the English people, they constituted symbols that defined the concept of social order. They also became important fashion objects as they represented thoroughly the royal court mood and reflected its preferences, temper and taste. This research focuses on the importance of different types and symbolism of mourning jewelry in late Georgian and mid to late Victorian Britain. Through the magnifier of the historical, cultural, artistic and technological changes of the time the author examines and comments on the roles of the royal court and mainly on Queen Victoria’s personality in enhancing and even reshaping the idea of mourning customs within which Memento Mori and memorial jewelry thrived.
Vestimenta drawing in use by the Romans
Toward an Archive of clothing patterns in Pompeii
The study of the Pompeii clothes, representative of the wider Roman culture, is carried out starting from the graphic analysis of the classical iconography of the MANN (National Archaeological Museum of Naples) in comparison with historiographical sources, by means of the representation of the main patterns of women's clothing in use by the Romans and their respective decorative and chromatic motifs, also in relation to the fibres of which the fabrics were made. This study, which also makes use of data obtained from the photogrammetric survey of a selected number of textile finds belonging to the "MANN Textile Collection", provides an unpublished archive of the main clothing patterns, codifying in technical drawings (paper patterns) the unconventional rules that the ancient Romans at that period used to make clothing on the basis of knowledge, practical experience and customs (dressing rituals) specific to the culture of the time. The flat development of each clothing patterns is entrusted to the geometric accuracy of the paper pattern, is proportionate to the anthropometric measurements of the woman of the Roman age (female normotype) and represented to scale.