Alter— Journal

Alter— Journal

Journals from Porto Design Biennale 2021

An alternative, complementary outlook on the questions raised by this edition of the Biennale. Pluralistic in scope, thought provoking, and visually bold, Alter— is a collection on Alter-Realities as a way to re-make worlds, re-animate ourselves and forge new relations while rejecting unsustainable hegemonies.

With each of the installments, we aim to explore different sub-themes within Alter-Realities framed in Alastair Fuad-Luke’s curatorial agenda for the Biennale. We present fresh reflections on the present moment and better ways of being and creating with each other in times of crisis and contagion through the lens of design.

Alastair Fuad-Luke, Bianca Elzembaumer & Fabio Franz, António Gorgel Pinto and Paula Reaes Pinto, Paulo Moreira, and Nina Paim & Cherry-Ann Davies are the editors of the collection. The design is by the 1234 collective, composed by Irina Pereira, João Castro, Miguel Almeida and Serafim Mendes. The visual narratives found on the cover and inside the notebooks are by the artist Beatriz Blasi, in partnership with 1234, and were created using the Google Maps platform.

Alter— #1

Alter-Realities: Towards justice through design

Editor: Alastair Fuad-Luke

Contributions by: Sasha Costanza-Chock, Eduardo Aires


The first issue of Alter— reflects on the term Anthropocene and its developments, proposing a new relationality through design that accommodates all forms of life. Sasha Costanza-Chock talks with Alastair Fuad-Luke about more inclusive and collaborative design practices while Eduardo Aires opens a range of variations to the grid he designed in 2016 as the visual identity of the city of Porto. Artist Beatriz Blasi and designers collective 1234 question notions of reality in a collaboration that will feature this and the following editions of Alter—.


Alter— #2

Alter-Livelihoods: Experiments with infrastructures for community economies

Editors: Bianca Elzenbaumer and Fabio Franz (Brave New Alps)

Contributions by: Forno Vagabondo, La Foresta, Comunità Frizzante; Manuela Dasser and Veronica Martini (Marameo Lab)


With the Vallagarina valley, in the Italian Alps, in the background, Bianca Elzenbaumer and Fabio Franz, founding members of the Brave New Alps collective, reflect on modes of economic and social organization that value the work that is mostly sidelined by capitalist practices. Community projects with food or education are examples of how to create beneficial and inclusive dissent through design and traditional arts or crafts. From the Alps to the world.


Alter— #3

Alter-Production: Shaping together a common ground

Editors: António Gorgel Pinto e Paula Reaes Pinto

Contributions by: Assemble, Rigo 23


Creativity is a common feature of human nature. Developed in a network, within local communities and in a participatory way, creativity is the key to social transformation. In this issue of Alter—, dedicated to alternative forms of production, António Gorgel Pinto and Paula Reaes Pinto address participatory design, community-based art, and forms of art and production whose main focus is the creation of bonds between people. The British architecture collective Assemble and artist Rigo 23 are the guest contributors.


Alter— #4

Alter-Scapes: The practice of controversy

Editors: Paulo Moreira

Contributions by: Lara Isa Costa Ferreira, Nuno Coelho, Isabeli Santiago, Naky Gaglo, InterStruct Collective


Under the facade of its monuments, buildings, streets and gardens, Porto keeps traces of the violent Portuguese colonial past. Memory and trauma simmer all over the city, but remain hidden and unquestioned. Paulo Moreira, the editor of this issue of Alter—, together with Lara Isa Costa Ferreira, Nuno Coelho, Isabeli Santiago, Naky Gaglo and the InterStruct Collective make a critical survey of spaces and experiences of tension between the official discourse of the “good colonizer” and the daily life of non-white people.

Alter— #5

Alter-Care: Care is what we actually do

Editors: Cherry-Ann Davis & Nina Paim (Futuress)

Contributions by Zoy Anastassakis, Marcos Martins, keyna Eleison, Denilson Baniwa


We are in need of care, and care is increasingly a trending topic. But are we actually doing the work it takes to make care more inclusive and present in our daily actions? Design is one of the fields where new ways of caring are being defined; in the last issue of Alter—, editors Cherry-Ann Davis and Nina Paim from the feminist platform Futuress present specific examples of what design and communities made with care might look like.

Alter_ Journals Talk

Under the theme: You must change your life: A walk on the wild side of design, the launch of the collection Alter- takes place on September 10, between 16h00 and 17h00, in the auditorium of the Municipal Library Almeida Garrett, as part of the programming of the Porto Book Fair.

In a conversation with Alastair Fuad-Luke (PDB21 General Curator and notebooks’ editor), Eva Gonçalves (Art Director, Graphic Designer and Researcher) and Nina Paim (Graphic Designer and editor of the Futuress platform), moderated by Andreia Faria, we talk about design as a discipline of imagination and a tool for inclusivity, able to question old hierarchies and design alternative forms of social and economic organization.