UNIDCOM/IADE - Research Unit in Design and Communication is an autonomous Organic Research Unit of IADE-U Instituto de Arte, Design e Empresa - Universitário, which is recognised since 2003 as a unit of R&D [0711], accredited and funded under the R&D Units' Pluriannual Financing Program of FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.

UNIDCOM/IADE has as its managing body EUROPEIA ID - Associação para a Investigação em Design, Marketing e Comunicação, a non-profit association governed by private law, joined by IADE in 2009, which promotes and develops, within its social framework, the activities of scientific research in the Design, Marketing and Communication domains, as well as training, innovation promotion and consulting in the same domains.

The vision of UNIDCOM/IADE is to be an international reference as a center of multidisciplinar research specialized in Heritage - Art, Culture and History; Representation and Artistic Expression; Comunication and Visual Culture; Product and Environments - Innovation and Sustainability; Fashion and Cultural Trends; Learning Systems: Education and Training; Organisations, Markets and Consummer; Open Society - Information and Innovation Systems; Technologies and Interface Design; Ergonomics Design and User Experience.

The Unit develops research in Design (as systems integrator) and Communication. With these guidelindes, the Research Centre has, as a mission, to be engaged, with creativity, rigour and dedication, in scientific research and application, aiming the development of the portuguese culture and economy, in line with the europen strategies. The new social challenges and the scientific, technological and economic specialization, as well as the change in the status from IADE to University Institute, has lead to the redefinition of this Unit.

The new objectives are:

1) Articulate the research activity with the training programme of IADE-U, integrating researchers in postgraduate studies (master and doctoral students) in projects;

2) Perform training actions, specialization and dissemination;

3) Promote and implement transversal integration of research themes with outputs for the creative and cultural industries.

To implement these objectives task forces with appropriate knowledge to contracted projects are created.

UNIDCOM/IADE is managed by (a) Directive Council, comprised of the President and the Scientific Coordinator, Executive Director and Representatives of the Research Groups; (b) Scientific Council; (c) Executive Coordination Council, which includes the coordinators of the Support Centres and Laboratories of IADE-U; and (d) Advisory Commission.

All research activities are supported the the Laboratories and the Support Centres of IADE:

  • IADE Media Lab comprises three modular operative structures, qualified as nucleus:
    Photography and Audio-visual Production Nucleus, with properly equipped studios for training in the fields of audio-visual and media production;
  • Digital Laboratory, which is suited to support editing and research in the communication design field, articulating digital imaging with analogical photography and web design;
  • IADE-UX.Lab –User Experience Laboratory, which integrates LIVE - Laboratory of Visual Information and Eyetracking. It is a laboratory focused on the study of perceptive and cognitive aspects of interaction, user experience (UX), usability, interaction and interface design, as well as design for ageing.
  • IADE 3D Lab is an interaction and creativity space, intended mainly to support education and research in IADE-U, providing a set of modelling technologies, pre-fabrication and testing, which allows the possibility of involving lecturers, researchers and students in the development of a distinguishing learning and practice - based on "knowing how to do" - in various forms, both at the level of concrete systems of representation, tridimensional modeling with different materials, and the level of techniques and technologies usage - standard and new technologies - employed on the construction of tridimensional material models.
  • Studio Lab of IADE School Agency which aims to develop a new dimenaion of the IADE brand; to promote and train the “training junior” in the job market within a school context; offers projects that associate the research to the practice of design, photography, visual culture, marketing and advertising; brings closer higher education to the job market.