Design amid Emergency


  • Karine de Mello Freire Unisinos
  • Carlo Franzato Unisinos
  • Bruna do Nascimento Remus



This article presents the process for the “Design of services under the COVID19 emergency social protection plan”, drawn up by a team of researchers and designers from Porto Alegre in collaboration with the Porto Alegre City Government, and directed at the provision of essential benefits to homeless and other vulnerable people during the pandemic. The process was developed in an unprecedented way for the designers involved: without prior notice, within very short time frames and completely remotely, using only digital platforms. As such, the process was developed to respond to the emergency and amid the emergency. In this regard, the objective of the article is to discuss how to design amid emergency. The experience was guided by the methodological principles of action research and research through design. In addition to the design results, these being solutions aimed at the short, medium and long term, this article highlights the need, even in these circumstances, to aim for the prizing of difference, the suggestion of alternative views, social innovation, the systemic transformation of society and sustainability.

Author Biographies

Karine de Mello Freire, Unisinos

PPG Design Adjunt Professor

Carlo Franzato, Unisinos

PPG Design Adjunt Professor






Reflections on the design processes