Power in

10 – 12 July 2024 at BASIS Vinschgau Venosta, Schlanders-Silandro
13 – 14 July 2024 at Klimacamp Alto Adige, Vöran-Verano


Since their start in 2013,  the annual By Design and by Disaster Conferences have been focussing on social-ecological transformations, and what design and art can contribute along with partners and allies.

A different sort of conference

The conference series has co-developed with the Master in Eco-Social Design at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. It offers a mix of inspiring presentations, hands-on workshops, academic tracks, performances, walks, talks and more in a convivial atmosphere with tasty food, music, dancing, sun, mountains, … The conference gathers transformation-engaged designers and artists, activists, critical scientists, courageous farmers, unconventional social workers and entrepreneurs, commoners and more…

More time, more space, more movement

This year, for the first time, we are collaborating with Klimacamp Alto Adige on Saturday and Sunday. The joint venture will feature a keynote by climate activist Indigo Drau and several workshops.

Join us on Wednesday 10th July, 10:00 at NOI Techpark, Bolzano for the Eco Design Award Exhibition with brunch. From Wednesday 10th – Friday 12th July we will be at BASIS Vinschgau-Venosta, Schlanders–Silandro. Check-in at 14:00 with the conference starting at 15:00. The days at BASIS will end with a party on Friday night; on Saturday morning we move to Klimacamp Alto Adige, Vöran–Verano for a joint weekend program.

A (dark) reality check

For the first By Design or by Disaster conference in 2013 we wrote “Sustainability is unavoidable. It will happen anyway by the interplay of disastrous ecological, social and economic trends and events. But we could take initiatives: we can design and develop this transition in a process of collective decisions and actions.” In other words, transformation is on its way, either by design or disaster.

Now, 10 years later, it has become brutally evident that even within our privileged global north: the disaster is happening. We have to deal with it, ideally with solidarity and in radically democratic ways (as opposed to through capitalistic or authoritarian pseudo-solutions). To not acknowledge the disaster is naïve.

Consequently, the updated title of the conference is By Design and by Disaster. Among other things, this brings more importance to questions of power in transformation. It also forwards the personal and collective challenge to overcome hopelessness. How can we empower each other to cope with the bleakly realistic analysis? And thus, unfold the power and attitude to effectively engage in emancipatory transformations?


What kind of power is needed for transformation? What kinds of power must be overcome? What power sustains change? What ways are there to deal with power, and each other to prefigure tomorrow today?

Power in Transformation

We are meeting this year to gain an understanding of the diverse dimensions of power that must be considered in relation to social-ecological transformation. We want to clarify how design and art can contribute in moving towards solidary and just power relations among humans and with the more-than-human world. In other words, we consider how to deal with power in movements from capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy towards commons, care, and queerness. How does design and art contribute to these transformations of power? And what about power in the processes and products of design and art?

We will take off and stay grounded with about 30 papers and visual essays in our academic track, approximately 12-18 hands-on workshops, 5×7 talks, collective tinkering, debates, dancing, the joy of good food, drinks … and 6 keynotes by Habibi.Works, Rosalyn D’Mello, Bianca Elzenbaumer (Brave New Alps), Jan Baykara (Common Knowledge), Indigo and the Citizen Cooperative Obervinschgau–Alta Val Venosta – all clustered in 5 areas: co-creation, pedagogies, decolonise, economies and movements.


The conference offers a structured registration fee schedule designed to accommodate a diverse range of participants. We acknowledge the varying circumstances of our attendees and have thus established a tiered pricing system to ensure accessibility. Here is a detailed breakdown of the registration fees. If you are unable to pay for any reason, then please send us an email!

Standard registration

Students and those without significant income
0 €

Phd Students and those with precarious working conditions
50 €

Participants in a decent income or sponsorship/institutional affiliation
120 €

Academic Track

For persons presenting papers or visual essays in the academic track (this includes publication in the proceedings of accepted papers/essays)

Phd Students and those with precarious working conditions
70 €

Persons with institutional affiliation
170 €

2nd, 3rd, etc. authors joining in presence, please register as Participants without a paper (50 euros). 2nd, 3rd, etc. authors who won’t join in presence, don’t need to register.


About the conference

By Design and by Disaster Conference 2024 is taking place from Wednesday 10th July to Sunday 14th July, featuring joint programming with Klimacamp Alto Adige on the 13th and 14th of July.

This year, for the first time, we are collaborating with Klimacamp Alto Adige, which is generously hosting us on Saturday and Sunday and will merge their program with ours, including a keynote and several workshops. 

If you want to join us through the move to Klimacamp, please register separately on klimacamp-altoadige.bz. The Camp is supported by Climate Action South Tyrol, an alliance of activists and more than 70 groups, organisations, and associations that will take action for climate protection, climate resilience and a just society.

The conference is intended for anyone passionate about strong sustainability, just transition, climate justice, the commons, care and other topics of social-ecological transformation: Transformation-engaged designers and artists, activists, critical scientists, courageous farmers, unconventional social workers and entrepreneurs, commoners and anyone with an interest in discovering new points of view, dialogue and discussion on contemporary issues, eager to challenge and change the status quo.

No, it is not possible to participate online because the conference is not optimised for hybrid participation and we want to favour a hands-on experience. If interested, you can find out more about the programme contents in the conference proceedings.

The conference will be held entirely in English to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate and interact during the activities. As the region in which the event is held is bilingual (mainly German and Italian), the conference aims to foster multicultural cohesion, making it accessible to all, including people from different backgrounds.

Don’t worry, if you think your English is not good enough. Most participants are not native speakers, and we can help each other with whispering translation and body language. Never hesitate to ask for help or to ask questions in your preferred language.

We are excited that our conference will again be situated at BASIS vinschgau-venosta. BASIS is an excellent collaborating partner; it describes itself as re-use project and social activation hub. For the social development in the areas of economy, culture, education and social affairs, it activates and re-uses the former military base that is its home.

Getting to the conference

BASIS Vinschgau Venosta
Drusus-Kaserne/Caserma Druso
Kortscher Straße 97/Via Corzes 97
39028 Schlanders/Silandro

Google Maps

BASIS Vinschgau Venosta is within walking distance from the Schlanders-Silandro train station. We suggest planning your journey using the regional transport service Südtirolmobil-Altoadigemobilità.

Due to repair works, there is currently a rail replacement bus service running from Bozen-Bolzano to Meran-Merano, but this is not wheelchair accessible. A separate service is provided instead, which must be requested at least one day in advance (by 3.30 pm the day before). This can be done by email (from Monday to Sunday) or by phone: +39 0471 450 111 (from Monday to Thursday from 07:30 to 16 and Friday from 07:30 to 12:30). More information can be found here, please email us if you have any questions.

Yes, but space is limited. Please note if you plan to come by car during registration to reserve a spot.

Festplatz Vöran
Leadner – Alm – Weg 1/1
39010 Vöran
Autonome Provinz Bozen

Google Maps

We will move to Klimacamp Alto Adige together on Saturday after breakfast. The journey from BASIS Vinschgau Venosta will be completed using the regional public transport network.


BASIS provides space for indoor camping with toilets and showers (just like camping, but indoors & with no tent) with everybody sleeping together in the main conference room using their own sleeping bags/ mats etc.

Indoor camping costs €5 per night (including breakfast) to be paid in cash on location.

You’ll need a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, personal items/clothing and cash to pay for accommodation. BASIS will provide a room for community indoor camping, as well as toilets and a shower.

Unfortunately, there are no accessible showers or private rooms available at BASIS.

Klimacamp offers camping on-site free of charge. Bring along for yourself: sleeping mat, sleeping bag, water bottle, your cutlery and plate. Ideally a tent too, but it’s possible to stay without. Find out how the Klimacamp works and register there, if you want to be part of it and enjoy our joint programming.

Local accommodations with accessible rooms are listed below. We suggest that those interested in staying overnight at a different accommodation should contact a local hotel, located near BASIS. Here are some options, all within 10-15 min walking distance.

Pension Rita (accessible rooms are available)
Gasthaus Sonne (accessible rooms are available)
Pension Pernthaler
Pension Schweitzer
Garni Claudia
Haus Gufler (rooms for 2-5 persons, with kitchen)

Food & drink

All participants can enjoy daily coffee breaks provided by unibz. Breakfast is included for indoor camping (5 € / person/ night). The full catering program is as follows:

Wednesday 10th July
Dinner 15 € / person, drinks included

Thursday 11th July
Lunch provided by unibz
Dinner 15 € / person, drinks included

Friday 12th July
Lunch 15 € / person, drinks included
Pizza night 10 € / person, drinks not included

Meals need to be paid for in cash on location.

Klimacamp will organise catering for the community. For more information, check how the Klimacamp works.

For BASIS, please note any allergies and/ or dietary requirements during registration in the additional comments field.


BASIS is wheelchair accessible and there are accessible toilets. Service animals are permitted to attend. There is disabled parking located in front of the building. There will be seating available.

There is no hearing loop or similar device available. There are no accessible showers. There is not yet a designated quiet room, please email us if you require this.

We will do our best to accommodate all dietary requirements. Please let us know any that apply to you when you register.

Most sessions (talks or workshops) will last for a maximum of 90 minutes, and where possible we will make music and movement breaks in between, see the program for more details.

During the Q&A’s questions can either be written down or spoken out loud.

If you require conference materials in advance then please send us an email.


Registration for the conference at BASIS is now closed. Attendance at Klimacamp Alto Adige requires separate registration at klimacamp-altoadige.bz.

You can check your inbox for a confirmation email, or you can click here and log in to your account to view your registration details.

Organisation, funding and affiliations

The conference is organised by students and professors of the Masters in Eco-Social Design of the faculty of design and art at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

The conference is funded in part by the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano with additional sponsorship from the Hans-Sauer Foundation, Lab LDV20 of the Südtiroler Sparkasse AG / Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA, Ghost Host, and a lot of work by many passionate people: students, teachers/researchers, persons in the administration and partners.

With the support of the Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands