Internship Rutger at Porto Design Factory!

With your familiarity of the Frisian Design Factory I would like to tell you about one of the many Design factories over the world the Porto Design Factory, The PDF for short.

As the names states the PDF is located in the lovely Porto, Portugal a relatively big city with a city center of walkable size. The PDF located itself at the Porto Polytechnic campus as a white standalone building in front of the entrance near the metro. The building is viewable from the metro with big letters saying Porto Design Factory on the side, the metro which is a fifteen-minute travel between city center and the Design Factory. And during the Period of February and June I am or was an intern at the PDF working with them on event organization and various tasks. So, you might be asking who I am?  I am Rutger Oldenhuis and I have had experience working in the Frisian Design Factory, have visited the Aalto Design Factory and as of now worked with the Porto Design Factory I feel can say I have some knowledge of Design Factory.

To Introduce the PDF you will first need to know the four pillars of the PDF, that are Education, Innovation, Acceleration and Community these four pillars are very important to the way the PDF works. Education like the word says is about everything that works with education, from the courses they house to the events that that invoke education. The Courses the PDF work with are ME310, PDP, CBI, and SQUAD. FrutThe PDF also organize events such as Be a Maker, Afterworks, PDF files, and Comms LSD Sessions.  Innovation is about hosting small events known as In&Out Sessions, open sessions between companies, researchers and Polytechnic Porto Research Units. Acceleration is about helping new/ aspiring entrepreneurs the PDF believes in to getting their business model of the ground. For this project they have the Porto Design Accelerator to help. They also have their own events according to the Acceleration pillar, such as the Social Impact Factory, Rocket Weekend and Beta Sound System. Lastly, but not least they have the Community Pillar as community is of great importance to the Design Factory spirit, to maintain a positive community feeling they organize every Tuesday a Breakfast at DF’annys where they eat breakfast with each other provided by a group within the PDF house and for the small price of €2 you can join the breakfast. And Every Thursday the ME310 students organize a Slightly Unorganized Design Session or SUDS with a House SUDS every first and last Thursday of the month. SUDS is an evening program where they Cook and Drink together for which each participant pays €3 for the food and drinks. So, a lot of happenings are going on within the PDF house which is a lot of fun.

So, what do I do, as a label I am a Multimedia Intern, this either says a lot or not much. To give you an idea of what I do most of my time within the Design factory is taking photographs of the events present in the building. The PDF is mostly bustled with events and people and for our social media coverage we need photos of what is going on. The other time I do small tasks that people ask me to help with such as during my time I have helped build a hologram with a piano. I did stage setup for big events. I shot video footage for Interviews and edited them for use. I am organizing an PDF files together with one of the ME310 students and I spend time learning to livestream if they need me to set it up.

The PDF has an enjoyable work environment because of the informal atmosphere. It kind of reminiscences of the vibe from the FDF and the ADF. It just feels like a Design Factory, people walk in and out it’s very organic how things work. Every Monday the PDF staff hold a Stuff meeting instead of Staff meeting where they say where they need help with instead of what they will be doing this week, so it’s apparent to people with what they can help with. This way there is less time spend on unnecessary things and the meeting can go more smoothly. The supervise the projects at the PDF they hold SGM’s and LGM’s which stand accordingly Small Group Meetings and Large Group Meetings. These meeting are every week where the SMG’s are per project group one on one and LGM’s are with the whole course. These meetings are with the Coordinator of the PDF, Rui Coutinho and the teaching assistants(TA) of PDF. The TA’s are sort of mentors consisting of alumni from the PDF. Having these meetings are very Important to the teaching method of the PDF because these are the learning moments for the groups.

I am quite blessed I can work with these people as an intern and see lots of happenings within the PDF. This really show what happens behind the scene of a Design Factory and the diversity of assignments one does within one’s design factory. Before starting this internship, I did not think I would be working with a camera as much as I do now. But here I am a Graphic Designer/ Game Artist undercover as a Photographer/ Cameraman working in a Design Factory in a country I don’t speak the language.  Hope you have enjoyed this blogpost and it gives you a better understanding of the Porto Design Factory.

Rutger Oldenhuis


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