Tiago Machado


Tiago Machado profile picture
Tiago Machado profile picture

who, what, where, when.

I design and build physical and digital artifacts used by thousands of people on a daily basis. I also teach and do research in the digital experience design field, speak at design and tech events and travel whenever possible.

I'm a Portuguese designer born in 1984 in Porto and currently living and working in Lisbon. I’m Head of Design and Multimedia at the Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon, Lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon and Founder of Playout. Communication design, digital experience design and human computer interaction are my main fields of work.

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the best source of knowledge.

In the last 10 years I had the pleasure to work in a wide range of projects for dozens of clients in a wide spectrum of areas, that encompassed strategy, brand, editorial and digital product design.

The last 5 years of my life were primarily spent in a leadership position: I’ve been managing a multidisciplinary team of more than ten designers, developers, videographers and photographers at Instituto Superior Técnico, a leading school of architecture, engineering, science and technology from the University of Lisbon. Strategy, creative direction and management are my daily focus there.

In 2015 I co-founded a new course in Digital Experience Design at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, where I also teach. I'm proud to be shaping the future of education in this field and amazed by the outstanding response from the design and tech community so far.

In my spare time I’m pursuing a PhD about the relation between persuasive design and the online shopping experience. Occasionally I also develop projects for myself or for a selected set of clients through Playout (my digital playground).

Current Positions

  1. Since 2015: Digital Experience Design Course Lead Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon
  2. Since 2013: Head of Design and Multimedia Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon
  3. Since 2006: Founder Playout

Former Positions

  1. 2010 – 2012: Designer Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon
  2. 2008 – 2009: Designer Seara.com
  3. 2007 – 2008: Designer Público

Other Positions

  1. Since 2018: Toptal Designer
  2. Since 2017: Artistic Studies Research Centre (CIEBA/FBA/ULisboa) Researcher — Communication Design Research Group (Interaction Design)
  3. Since 2016: Startup Lisboa Mentor
  4. Since 2014: Designlab Mentor

Professional Associations & Groups

  1. Since 2018: InVision Design Leadership Forum Member
  2. Since 2017: CSS Design Awards Jury
  3. Since 2011: Interaction Design Association (IxDA) Member

study, research and teach.

Let's breadcrumb this: Art › Graphic Design and Advertising › Communication Design and New Media › Fine Arts. What's next?

I have a fairly boring and predictable path as a student: I studied Arts in high school, then took an undergraduate course on Graphic Design and Advertising.

I started my career at Porto and later moved to Lisbon, where I took a graduate course on Communication Design and New Media and developed a study focused on the relationship between visual design and perceived credibility on the web.

I'm currently a PhD student in the Fine Arts (Communication Design) Doctoral Programme at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. I'm developing a study focused on the relation between persuasion and e-commerce websites, in the context of the online shopping experience. I want to understand how persuasive design can help both shape a better shopping experience and improve business sales.

  1. 2015: Master of Fine Arts (MFA),
    Communication Design and New Media
    Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2006: Bachelor of Arts (BA),
    Graphic Design and Advertising
    School of Management and Industrial Studies, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal

Talks and events:
giving back to the community.

I had the honor to speak in front of hundreds of designers, tech pros and entrepreneurs, in major events and institutions.

Talked at events like Sapo Codebits, Experimenta Design and WordCamp (Lisbon and Porto), on places like the University of Lisbon, University of Aveiro, ISEP-IPP or IADE-U. There I had the opportunity to lecture on topics that are dear to me, such as Creative Direction, Communication Design, Digital Experience Design, Design Education or Online Credibility, among others.


I have a really busy schedule, but love new challenges — they're usually an opportunity to meet new people and grow in some way. Have something in mind? Drop me a line.

Working in new products and ideas, speaking at design and tech events, judging at design competitions and mentoring and advising public and private institutions of all sizes are challenges that always motivate me.