From Industry to Culture: Renewing Disadvantaged Communities Through Local Art and Craft in Porto, Portugal
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This thesis introduces an adaptive re-use approach to the remains of a former industrial site located along the River Douro in Porto, Portugal to reconnect individuals with communities and the past with the present by encouraging a return to local culture through art, craft, and small scale design intervention. A design approach that engages with the act of making can establish areas for creative collaborative activities, developing a sense of community, channeling value-creation mechanisms and fostering local economic development. The site can serve as a catalyst for larger art projects along the waterfront, improving other abandoned sites and connecting the site to the Ribeira. Beyond aesthetisizing the alienated area of the District of Aleixo in Porto, Portugal, the proposed architectural interventions can be significant in tying people back to their local history and culture in a contemporary way, creating an environment that encourages learning, engagement and facilitates collective place-making.