13 April 2018


Critical by Design

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Basel

17 – 18 May 2018



The Academy of Art and Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) in Basle is organising the two-day conference “Critical by Design. Potentials and Limitations of Materialized Critique”. International speakers present different perspectives on design criticism – applied and experimental – and discuss forward-looking methods of design to visualise critique.


When form and function restructure or define cultural processes, values or social boundaries, design can both provide useful critiques of material culture and be instrumental in shaping its direction.

The conference aims to provide a platform to test design strategies on their effectiveness as a critique as well as their limitations. Up for debate are the fundamentals of criticism in design, its possibilities and traps as well as its implementation in future practice. Two initial questions are: “Which concepts of critiquality from other disciplines and traditions of thought are adapted in the discourses and practices of design? What, on the other hand, are distinctively designerly concepts of critique and how could these resonate with the methodologies and epistemologies of other disciplines?”

Over two days, 14 interdisciplinary experts from the fields of design, philosophy, and media sciences will debate and discuss critical theories, practices, and attitudes from past and present and introduce innovative developments in design as a particular form of critique.

The conference will be held on the campus of the Academy of Art and Design in Basle and is organised by the research group on Critical Artifacts – Speculative and Critical Design as a Reflective Approach towards the Design of Technology. The collective is a collaboration between the faculties of Experimental Design and Media Cultureand Visual Communicationand is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Tickets for the two-day event cost 60 Swiss Francs or 25 Swiss Francs for students. Participants are invited to register by 3 May 2018.


Nº 283
The Power of Design

form Design Magazine

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