Envisioning in participatory design processes for civic sense-making

A temporal collective articulation of a resilient counter-narrative through the development of provotyping fictional worlds


Participatory design (PD) has been considerably broadening the gaze of the design discipline. This produced a huge impact on design processes, boosting the academic dialogue and engaging institutions as well as diverse forms of publics in give together form to the public sphere. Participatory processes can play an important role in reframing issues and reconfiguring behaviours in the common realm, opening the social imagination to boost citizenship awareness. In this paper, the authors investigate the potential role of narratives for PD activities as a key to interpret the cultural heritage and the social ecosystem of an urban settlement. They do so by supporting the development of a diffused capability of envisioning both a better present as well as a better future with and for citizens, leveraging design’s down-to-earth capacity to foresee possibilities for change. The potential of narratives for PD practices is investigated here by means of a situated and cross-disciplinary research project for the city of Ivrea (Italy), which served both to contextualise new ideas as well as to develop new techniques, pursuing the hybridisation of PD processes with storytelling and design fiction, and developing tools borrowed from science fiction, spatial design and narratology.

Dr. Annalinda De Rosa, Dr. Virginia Tassinari, Mr. Francesco Vergani


Where's the strength of the trademark?

An analysis of distinctiveness as a requirement


Trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies products and services on the market and its registration guarantees the exclusive use of that sign by the right holder in the territory or country where the registration is granted. It is a type of industrial property, as are patents, geographical indications and industrial designs. According to the Brazilian Industrial Property Law, 9279/1996 (LPI), by means of the provisions of its article 122, "the visually perceptible distinctive signs are not subject to registration as a mark, not included in the legal prohibitions" (BRASIL, 1996).

For the registration of the trademark to be granted and the exclusivity of use to be guaranteed to its applicant, it is necessary to pass the examination carried out at the National Institute of Industrial Property – INPI/Brazil.

The objective of this work is to present a typification of the trademarks deposited at INPI/Brazil, according to their degrees of distinctiveness and the characteristics of the market where they operate. The premise was that the communicative strength of the trademarks lies in their distinctiveness, especially with regard to what is established by item VI of article 124 of Brazilian Industrial Property Law.

The methodology adopted for this paper was the triangulation proposed by Minayo and Minayo-Gomez (2003) with an interdisciplinary approach. The first stage consists of a review of the literature on the economic and distinctive functions of the brand in dialogue with Strategic Communication, with the brand as an element of the communicative component of organizations. In the second dimension, there is the collection of data from the INPI bank. Registered trademark cases will be raised, with qualitative analysis of the collected data and its connection with the chosen theoretical support.

Elaine Vianna, Teresa Ruão