XTND Sprint 0 (EHT) actvity. Photo by Cristina Ferreira

Experimental Type and Media Design-based Research Lab

The XTND Lab is an experimental research and development workshop that operates in the intersection of the scope of the research and educational initiatives of the FBAUP’s faculty members, especially within the scope of the activities of the Design post-graduate study programs. It focuses on the experimental foundations of editorial media design experiences and artifacts that inform and contribute to the education, research, and communication design practice. It does not aim to focus, nor actively promote the artistic or author-based nature of creation. Eventually, it aims to deploy its solutions — directly or indirectly — with business, government, and NGOs to improve the quality of the social fabric.

The XTND Lab aims to experiment with emergent tools and processes. Merging them with traditional or current design techniques to push design education from speculative design (Raby & Dune, 2016) into post-digital, creative, and experimental solutions to challenge and improve the design, consumption, and sustainability of communication media artifacts. Being physical, digital, or both. (Drucker, 2009; Ludovico, 2012)

At its core resides the need and the will to explore the contribution that typographic and graphic design and its symbolic nature provides to the creative problem-solving process, to the final visual result, or even to develop and nurture a more inclusive participatory environment with all the stakeholders.

The XTND Lab is currently working on the following projects:

  1. Expressive Hybrid Type: from modular system thinking to printed ephemera (EHT)
The EHT was a small 4-day sprint pilot experience, designed to access the working space at the faculty (figure 1), but also and mainly the organizational design of the team of students and teachers in a collaborative and non-vertical hierarchical model of organization.

2. Digital Fabrication of Provisional Proof Presses for Art & Design (DFP3AD)

Sharing the STEAM principles of the design and fabrication of individual media production resources, similar to the Provisional Press project