The International Design Workshop of the Master of Arts in Design is part of the Minor studies. It provides students the opportunity to explore a current topic in an interdisciplinary and intercultural environment and be confronted with new questions and approaches. The Master programme encourages students to transfer the gained knowledge into their own practice, unfold novel perspectives and develop an understanding of other methods and conditions.
The workshop took place in Portugal, Caldas da Rainha, from September 6–14, 2019 in collaboration with Futuro Sustentável, ESAD.CR and Turismo Centro Portugal.
Tourism is a practice of considerable cultural and economic importance, often described as one of the major phenomena of the modern age. Having witnessed exponential growth since the mid-nineteenth century, when Thomas Cook took advantage of newly-available mass transportation to design the first packaged tours, tourism became one of the main agents of development and an accelerator for economic and social progress in most tourist destinations, particularly with respect to its economic contribution. The democratization of tourism is seen by some experts as a sign of social success and improvement. In many countries and regions worldwide, tourism has become the leading source of cash flow, employment and a flourishing market. However, in times of mass mountaineering on Mount Everest with inexperienced climbers pushing to take selfies, and lucrative short-term rentals offered by platforms such as Airbnb leading to the removal of locals from the city centre of Lisbon or Barcelona, (over)tourism becomes a field of conflict that shows how thin the line between economic interests and responsible tourism is. Its impact on the environment, local culture and economy is large, and is becoming increasingly evident in different dimensions of our daily lives.