I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, Graphics and Multimedia in my hometown of Guimarães, a historical and cultural city in Portugal. During my Bachelor’s study, I participated in various European Projects. One of those experiences brought me to the Netherlands, where I worked as a volunteer at a local NGO for one year. During this year I was very inspired by the relationship that the Netherlands has with design, so I decided to do my Master in Graphic Design at AKV|St.Joost in Breda.
Through my studies, I discovered the point of connection between design and my social interests. I decided to explore this further in my thesis. In the last phase of my Master’s programme, I had the opportunity to do an internship at a European Agency, which gave me great knowledge and experience at the conclusion of my study path. I graduated in August 2016 and now I live and work in The Hague, the Netherlands. I am inspired by different people, places and cultures, and I am still discovering my own position as a graphic designer engaged in social design.
My research question was based on the topic of social design and how design can support multicultural communities in order to promote inclusion. My final project was called ‘Aggiungi un Posto a Tavola: A Series of Dinners with Friends and Strangers, Multicultural Cuisine and Thoughtful Conversations’. The idea was to have various meals with friends and strangers, as well as great food. Each person invited to this dinner needed to bring one stranger, a person that the group didn't know yet. It aimed to engage and connect ‘strangers’ who live in the same place but come from various backgrounds in a search for their ideal ‘home’.
The final outcome of the project was a digital platform where the concept was explained. It also included some personal stories from the participants, documentation of the events and recipes. The goal was to invite people from all over the world to experience the cities they live in. Focused mainly on multicultural cities and the challenges that come with them, it incited people to get to know the cultures around them and aimed for a more inclusive environment by treating people as individuals and respecting the culture they come from.
The idea was to break down some typical prejudices that come with place of origin, while at the same time giving people space to proudly share their own cultures. These dinners were multicultural and inclusive, a space with good food and thoughtful conversations. The platform was a connecting point between an idea tested in The Hague and the rest of the world.