17 February 2018


Beyond Change

FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel

8 – 10 March 2018



The current design landscape is putting all its energy into tackling global problems: be they environmental, political and social crises, they can all apparently be solved in the blink of an eye as soon as you apply a designer’s thinking and methods to the problem. The conference “Beyond Change” positions itself critically to challenge this assumption and view of design as a panacea. What if design is not the solution, but the cause of the problem?


“Beyond Change. The Role of Design in Times of Global Transformations” is looking for ways to bring about positive change without, for example, excluding or patronising stakeholders in the process, or declaring environmental issues to be design projects where the desire for aesthetics overshadows engagement. With seven keynote lectures, 18 sessions with speakers, four workshops and a film screening on the topics of sustainability, commons, indigenous knowledge, arts and crafts, design politics, gender and colonialism, the organisers are looking to shake up the notion of what a design problem is and what a design solution should look like. For example, the co-editor of “Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice” (2017), Ramia Mazé will give the keynote speech “Feminist Modes and Politics of Design Practice”. The workshop “Nationalism, Sport, and Fiction” with Gali Blay and Guiditta Vendrame from the Design Academy Eindhoven explores the relationship between sport and nationalism, using movement and performativity as the basis for problemising prevailing social systems and power structures. In addition, on the last day of the conference, participants can see a screening of the film “Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival” by Fabrizio Terranova; it will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmaker.


The foyer of the university is being used by the Building Platforms project, a joint presentation of the three design platforms Decolonising Design, Depatriarchise Design and Precarity Pilot. A two-story scaffold will be the subject of an intersectional debate on the political dimension of design, which will discuss gender, race, ethnicity and class in the course of the conference.

Tickets for the conference are already sold out. Tickets for the Conference Dinner on 9 March 2018 at Restaurant Kunsthalle Basel are still available, however, for the price of 90 Swiss francs (about 78 euros).


Nº 283
The Power of Design

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