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Comunicação e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 1645-2089versão On-line ISSN 2183-3575


MARTINS, Nuno et al. The Importance of Communication Design in the Process of Disseminating Community Practices in Social Neighbourhoods: The Balteiro. Comunicação e Sociedade [online]. 2023, vol.43, e023010.  Epub 30-Jul-2023. ISSN 1645-2089.

This article aims to demonstrate how research in communication design can contribute to disseminating community practices in economically disadvantaged contexts, such as in social housing neighbourhoods. This study stems from the ECHO research project, where the main mission is to understand and document two self-initiated community practices in the social housing neighbourhood of Balteiro, in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, to disseminate them and foster their replication in similar social contexts. It begins with a literature review on the role of design on behalf of communities, focusing, in particular, on the concepts of social design and universal design, which substantiate the relevance and pertinence of the issue under study. Then, it describes the case study of Balteiro. It presents the methodologies adopted in this research, namely the interviews conducted to learn about the history of the two community practices. This provided the basis for developing a preliminary study for an online platform and a series of documentary films. This study proved the importance of involving designers in this dissemination process through multidisciplinary teams. The research work in the field should be close to the community, the institutions and the different social actors involved to understand the complexity of the study context and define how design should operate. The empirical experience from this study has shown that work in the social area should be developed locally, focused on small communities or informal organisations, and aware that results are achieved slowly and gradually.

Palavras-chave : communication design; community practices; social housing neighbourhoods; social design; universal design.

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