DARE #2: The Politics of Design
International symposium: The Politics of Design
DARE #2 ran from September 1-9, 2007 and consisted of presentations of students' work, an International Symposium on The Politics of Design, research screenings and the presentation of MaHKUzine #3. Locations in Utrecht were our school's Academy Gallery, Casco Office for Art Design and Theory, Expodium, Aorta and Centraal Museum.
The symposium looked at the role of design/designers with respect to the problems and issue that we face in the world today. In view of these issues, how can we define the role of a designer? Is design able to play a role in solving important (environmental, social, political) problems in the world? Does a designer have to deal with both an artistic and social responsibility, and how can we define that responsibility? Introductions by Emily Pethick (Director Casco) and Henk Slager (Dean MaHKU). Presentations by Guus Beumer, Petra Blaisse, Hein Eberson, Hella Jongerius, Fiona Raby and Roemer van Toorn. Moderators: Annette W. Balkema, Henk Oosterling and Louise Schouwenberg.
Friday 7 September 2007, 10.00–18.00
Location: Centraal Museum, Nicolaaskerkhof 10, Utrecht
Organisation: DAF (Dutch Aesthetics Federation/Henk Oosterling and Louise Schouwenberg) in collaboration with Casco, Centraal Museum and MaHKU as part of DARE (Dutch Artistic Research Event) #2 and as a satellite of Utrecht Manifest.
Hella Jongerius (1963), product designer, graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 1993 and early in her career was one of the first generation designers to be featured in the Droog Design collection – a platform for conceptual design. Nowadays she works under the label of her own studio, Jongeriuslab, and as the art director/colour specialist for Vitra, the Swiss furniture company. Jongerius gained fame with products in which she has combined traditional and contemporary techniques and iconography, craft and industry, one-offs and serial products, which have lead to products such as the B-service, Repeat, plates for the age-old German ceramic factory Nymphenburg and furniture for Vitra. Some of the most recent works (Office Pets) challenge the borderline between art and design, and exaggerating a phenomenon in design: contemporary design is not about functionality but more and more about added cultural values.
Petra Blaisse (1955), interdisciplinary designer, studied both in Groningen and in London and currently mainly works on large commissions under the label of her company Inside Out. Blaisse’s projects range from textiles to landscape and exhibition design. Commissions have ranged from textiles for the Dutch dance theater in the Hague, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and the Rotterdam Museumpark to the acoustic curtains of the Congresexpo in Lille and the Mick Jagger Center in Dartford. Many commissions have been accomplished in cooperation with OMA, the architecture studio of Rem Koolhaas. Inside Outside is specialised in the rare combination of interior and exterior design, in the weaving of architecture and landscape. The studio has gained fame through it’s monumental textiles which technically very complex.
Guus Beumer (1955), studied social sciences, has worked as the art-director of Orson + Bodil and SO (in cooperation with fashion designer Alexander van Slobbe), the director of the Rotterdam Designprijs, and on many advisory boards in the Netherlands (Co-Lab, Fonds BKVB, Raad voor de Cultuur), as well as a publisher in the field of design (for Metropolis M, Morf). He currently works as the director of Nai Maastricht and director of Marres, Centre of contemporary Culture in Maastricht. In cooperation with Frame Magazine (international interior design magazine) he has initiated the Great Indoors Award – a new, biennial, international interior design award, to be awarded for the first time in 2007.
Roemer van Toorn (1954), architect, critic, photographer, and curator. After graduating from the University of Technology Delft, Van Toorn published The Invisible in Architecture (1994) in collaboration with Ole Bouman, an encyclopedic manifest outlining the different positions and issues of today's architecture. As a professor he runs and coordinates the Projective Theory program at the Berlage Institute and is a researcher at Delft School of Design at TU Delft. He has been the editor of several issues of the annual publication Architecture in the Netherlands, as well as an advisor for magazines Archis and Domus. He is currently working on a publication as part of his Ph.D research (Berlage Chair) at the TU Delft, titled From Fresh Conservatism to Radical Democracy. Aesthetics as Form of Politics.
Fiona Raby, interaction designer, lives and works in London. Raby studied architecture at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, worked some time for Kei'chi Irie Architects, Tokyo, and with Pierre d’Avoine Architects in London. Currently she works in cooperation with Antony Dunne on experimental and hypothetical works that can be viewed as critical comments on contemporary global technological developments. Antony Dunne is the head of the Design Interactions Department of the RCA, Raby is a teacher in the same department. Dunne & Raby use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies. They have worked with some telecommuniation companies and their projects have been exhibited in museums such as MoMA and Victoria & Albert Museum and published internationally. They have written several books including Design Noir (Princeton Architectural Press) and Hertzian Tales (The MIT Press).
Hein Eberson (1962), concept- and projectdeveloper in new media, publisher. Eberson studied photography and graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and continued his studies at Dasarts, postgraduate school for theater and dance. Eberson has predominantly worked in new media for cultural and public organisations, as well as for Mediamatic between 2002-2004. He teaches 'digital concepts' at the Editorial Design Department of the HKU Utrecht.