The first step (30th of April – 6th of May 2019) of the residency was focused on the research on site about the water situation in Feital (PT). In my opinion it was successful thanks to the collaboration of local people, directly involved in the water question and mostly curious and available to collaborate with us.
They were proud to show us their lands and share memories. But I had the impression that it is very hard for the local community accept other future developments that can be imagined by external people.
On the other hand, it was very useful as well to have the possibility to share thoughts and feedbacks with other artist and experts external from the locals. In my opinion merge an internal and an external point of view has a huge potential in order to design outcomes useful for the future of Feital.
But this scenario raises in me the question: can design and other creative practices be the medium between the current local context and the future of Feital?
As a design researcher, I see the huge potential of the “Aldeia Artística do Feital” as a scenario in which it is possible to experiment in reality projects otherwise were only imaginative theories. Of course this aspect increase the complexity of the entire project because it is necessary have to do with a real complex context.