Petrichor, The Smell of Rain (Porto Design Biennale 2023), Casa do Design

Martín Azúa, Rain Vases, 2019.

October 27
Petrichor, The Smell of Rain (Porto Design Biennale 2023)
14:30 – 16:30
Nr of participants: 25
Accessibility for wheelchair users: YES

After a dry, hot period, the first drops of water falling to the earth, give off the smell of rain. This phenomenon is called Petrichor (from the Greek pétros, stone + īchṓr, ethereal fluid or blood of the gods, as understood in Greek mythology). The aroma, often associated with the smell of the earth, is generated by the oils released by some plants during arid and hot periods and seems to set off and invade our sensoria, i.e. the part of the brain that is thought to be the common core of all sensations. The description of this phenomenon is a simplification of what actually happens, but it serves to introduce the idea of a natural, aqueous fluid interface, to which we can associate many other interfaces designed by humans. During the visit to this exhibition, participants will be confronted with some of these fluid interfaces (artificial heart valves, rituals, plant rafts, shipping traffic trackers, underwater vehicles for mapping underground aquifers, the use of bio-pigments, and water collectors, among many others) becoming aware of the ubiquity of water, its presence and circulation as a central element connecting all things. Note: This exhibition is part of the main programme of Porto Design Biennale 2023, with the central theme Being Water: How we flow together and shape each other, proposed by the general curator of the event and of this exhibition. Taking place between 19 October and 3 December, the aim is to shape more sustainable, equitable, free and happy futures.

Mediation and Discussion

Constança Cardoso is a designer and curatorial assistant. She has a degree in design from IADE (2019) and a master’s degree in interior design from ESAD (2023) with the dissertation “The Limits of Forms – between the ideal project and the possible project”. Currently, she is working at esad-idea, Research in Design and Art, as a curatorial assistant for the Porto Design Biennale 2023, with the central theme Being Water: How we flow and shape ourselves collectively, curated by Fernando Brízio. 2023.

How to get there

Edifício Paços do Concelho,
Rua de Alfredo Cunha, 4050-073 Matosinhos

Transport provided by ICAMT Porto
Meeting Point at 14:00 entrance Palácio de Cristal

From the Bus stop Palácio 
Last stop Goa
Then walk 2 minutes
Total 35 minutes

At the end of the visit, please go to Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos for the closing remarks and cocktail – Rua de Alfredo Cunha, 4050-073 Matosinhos.
Return provided by ICAMT Porto at 19.45 to Hotel Tuela.