A large room with many students looking toward the presenter

CVAD Interior Design students explore, collaborate and study 400+ miles from Africa

Poster of GIDE workshop, an overcrowded houseThe Group for International Design Education brought together students and educators from Europe and the U.S. from Feb. 26 to March 1, 2024, for the 2024 Funchal Workshop. The Art and Design Department of the Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal hosted the event. The workshop provided a platform for exploring multidisciplinary and intercultural experiences, working practices, and competencies, all aimed at raising awareness of the future of the students' professional networks.

Themed "Beyond Tourism — A Co-Design Approach to Empower Local Communities," this year's workshop aimed to foster multidisciplinary collaborations and intercultural exchanges. Phillip Park, associate professor of Interior Design at UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design, and 13 interior design students participated in the workshop. The event focused on exchanging design approaches and best practices, particularly addressing the impacts of over-tourism on Funchal communities and the local economy. 

Funchal is the capital, largest city, and municipal seat of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 430 miles off the coast of Morocco.

Overtourism is a worldwide reality. Because it is so intimately related to communities, it was proposed that the workshop participants work closely with chosen stakeholders and locals to develop strategic solutions. The hope is that the workshop and co-design context would provide diverse perspectives, cultural sensitivities, and unique insights that could be lost if the communities were removed from the equation.

GIDE is an international consortium of higher education art and design institutions that collaborate annually to promote the exchange of design ideas and best practices and widen the intercultural experiences across the European Union and beyond. GIDE promotes the exchange of design education with an ethical dimension, exploring multidisciplinary and intercultural experiences, working practices, and competencies designed to raise students' awareness of the future of their professional networks.

UNT students at the Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

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CVAD Mission: Cultivating creative talent and critical minds within a collaborative and caring environment.

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