name: sistemas híbridos - soluções de mobilidade nas culturas contemporâneas
year: 2003
project: dissertation of MSc degree - hybrid system of transport
author: Plácido Afonso
António Torres Marques (PhD), Cathedratic Professor of FEUP - Presidente
Fernando José Silva e Nunes da Silva (PhD), Cathedratic Professor of IST-UTL - Arguente
Guido Giangregorio (MSc), Assistent of Escola Superior de Artes e Design - Orientador

final mark:
very good

The present thesis is first of all a critical reflection about the designer's role in contemporary society. The new characteristics of material culture attribute increased responsibilities to the design, legitimating not only the traditional engagement in the project's construction but also an active participation in the drawn up of the program. At the same time, design should stimulate the interchange between technological and scientific innovation on one hand, and cultural synthesis matrix of semantization and identity of products on the other hand. Today, the designer must also engage himself to overcome the protagonism of the product's formal dimension (more and more subject to the marketing imperatives) to be able to concentrate all his attention on the non-visible aspects of the project and on the deepen of needs established by the logic of use, as it is demonstrated by the emergency of the "interface" concept. However, such issues can only be properly deepened when the thesis is framed on a contemporary and cultural debate. In this sense, reflection about the relationship between design, "modern project" and its operative instruments becomes peremptory. Contemporarily, to avoid the abstract character of a purely theoretical reflection, it was introduced a proposition's drawn up for a new hybrid transportation system that has been studied not only by testing its technical and economical viability but specially by deepening its social and cultural consistency. In this way, the working up of the proposition comprehends the definition of a single, coherent and integrated traveling system, in which hybrid vehicles (public or private) allow users to enjoy the global overland routes in a more convenient way. This new interchange between different aspects (the characteristics of the two substructures, the individual and collective needs) finally allows the "armistice" between roads and railways. With the adoption, adaptation and restruction of the present models it is possible to take the maximum advantage of space and time (nowadays not totally used in railways), to contribute to the reduction of external costs, to increase life expectancy and finally to promotes ecological welfare. The individual and collective transportation must necessarily find a new balance capable of preserving the demands of sustainability and the cultural needs. The intermodality – flexibility and complementarity of answers, the hybridity of solutions and the ability of harmonization will determine the system's effectiveness as well as the user's comfort and satisfaction.