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Congress Logo

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A powerful logo created by the Designer Joel Vilas Boas for the Congress that we expect will inspire all of us. In its apparent simplicity it represents a large amount of symbolism underlining the place and aims of the Congress. The overall shape and colours are reminiscent of the square ceramic wall tiles in contrasting white and cobalt blue that are a recognized hallmark in Portugal’s civilian, religious and military buildings, since the XVI Century, as you will experience here in Porto. They were used domestically and exported worldwide, not only as a commodity hand made by the millions, but also as a fortunate association of its technological excellence and usefulness with the expression of new values, ideas and aesthetics proposed to other cultures around the world, not without setting a distinct permanent mark from its origins we, as Portuguese citizens, are proud of.

In the composition of the logo only four simple glyphs in ten arrangements were used, harmoniously distributed inside a line bordered square. An undrawn but distinct central vertical axis of symmetry defines a path for a bottom-up reading of several symbols that set out by deconstruction and recomposing to define, in quite a few lines what, in our view, Geoethics and Groundwater Management is. A bottom line could represent the strong foundations of Geoethics and Groundwater Science, from which emerge recognized symbols of drawdown curves, and with them the consequences of the exploitation of aquifers underground. Above, is what could be a water well head and the processes that may occur on the surface in interaction with the society and the underground. Then, the acronym of the Congress is brought to our minds through face to face double-G physiognomies of what might be Geoethics and Groundwater Science and Engineering, a wide M for Management below. This opposing, often conflicting views, and the need of an informed dialogue, together with the underlying reflections on all values involved and on the consideration of foreseeable consequences of actions and omissions, are the correct supporting paths to foster the emergence of responsible Management tools. This could be the readings underlining the perseverance and quality for the construction and maintenance of the sequence of arch bridges connecting the extremes on top of the logo. They evocate the at their times innovative six bridges of Porto over the Douro River, fed in Summer by far away aquifers in its vast transboundary basin. This support a safe road to the future of the society and nature in resiliency and sustainability, through the combined efforts of geoscience, engineering and humanities, to cope with the challenges of change.

Logo design by Joel Vilas Boas (GDM | ISEP)

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