Components of spirituality to safeguard life

For the development of an Integral Design Management approach


  • Luciana Lopes University of Porto


Design and spirituality, Linen ancestral tradition, Transformative social innovation, Components of spirituality


The present article is the initial result of fieldwork on design and spirituality in the scope of an ongoing doctoral research in design. The research is developed with Lusophone ‘quilombolas’, Afro-Brazilian and traditional family farming groups and communities from Brazil and Portugal, which present implicit spirituality-driven design management approaches. The project proposes that a spiritual dimension should be a fundamental component of a design management strategy that is intended to be integral. The first learning case was carried out in ethnographic format with the Association of Women Farmers of Castelões (Associação das Mulheres Agricultoras de Castelões), Portugal. The chosen methodology was the decomposition of the design and spirituality concept from the thoughts of Papanek (1971 and 1995), Schumacher (1974), Walker (2011), Margolin (2014) and Escobar (2018). Components of spirituality were identified to guide field data collection. Subsequently, components of spirituality were identified from the participatory experience and participant observation with the artisans, as well as analysis of these identified components was carried out. In conclusion it was possible to conceive 'Components' of a reinvented spirituality for today: 'Spirituality to Safeguard Life'. It is believed that these may support the development of a spirituality-driven design management approach with a Lusophone reference, entitled 'Integral Design Management'. It is planned to apply this approach in academic, business, governmental, non-governmental and civil society environments. Through its practice, it is intended to promote the implementation of transformative systems with values and paradigms shift for the recovery, flourishing and continuity of life.




How to Cite

Lopes, L. (2021). Components of spirituality to safeguard life: For the development of an Integral Design Management approach. DISCERN: International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2(2), 7–21. Retrieved from