PhD Program in Design


Freedom and Participation

Freedom and Participation

Mário Roda
Supervisor: João Mota


Information access and control are of vital importance for various kinds of authorities, who exercise influence and power through media, looking at the promotion of cohesion and identification with widespread messages.

Despite these, there were historical circumstances where dissonant voices found the necessary resources to mobilize crowds around ideas that contested the established bodies of power.

Today, democratization of information access and production demands new stands on information control by established authorities as well as their opponents.

This research aims at analysing strategies used to mobilize groups of people, to identify fictionality in speech and to understand rethorical and persuasion mechanisms in relation to possibilities allowed by new media. It focuses on informal groups involved with issues of activism and social change, seeks to contextualize these groups historically and looks at resources they’ve used for the same persuasion and identification effects towards divergent messages from the established speech. Ultimately, it studies today’s available means, the role they play in democratizing access to information, and scrutinises design contributions to a model speech for the development of strategies and artefacts of communication in these contexts.

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