The Role of Design: A Humanitarian Approach and an Opportunity to Prepare Students for the Real Working World


This study aims to contextualise and describe a pedagogical practice developed in the Academic curriculum at Lusófona University of Porto (ULP) in the first semester of 2021/22 with students from the 2nd year of Communication Design bachelor. A pencil for a school is a solidarity campaign to help build a school in the village of Matsinho, in the province of Manica, Mozambique. This is a project carried out by The Big Hand, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes the well-being of children living under unfavourable environmental conditions, ensuring their access to education, healthcare and nutrition. The campaign’s briefing includes a pencil, a set of posters, a roll-up, a T-shirt, and a label for a can to collect donations. To complement the project developed in Design classes, a free oneday workshop was held, in which students had the opportunity to talk with the President of the NGO, ask questions and share ideas. This article emphasises the responsibility of educators in preparing young students and future designers to be able to face contemporary challenges, using their skills as an alternative method of intervention in social issues and realising the role of design in promoting positive change. It also offers a solid opportunity to prepare graduates for the real working world and encourage engagement through innovative practice. It also proved to inspire the new generation of designers to have an empathetic mentality and do not work only for commercial purposes but also for social needs.

Author Information
Carla Cadete, Lusófona University of Porto, Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Design for Society

This paper is part of the ECADE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Cadete C. (2022) The Role of Design: A Humanitarian Approach and an Opportunity to Prepare Students for the Real Working World ISSN: 2758-0989 – The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education 2022 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon