By Design or by Disaster Conference 2019 Make Transformation Tangible

BY DESIGN OR BY DISASTER spring conference 2019

11-14. April 2019
Free University of Bozen–Bolzano
Amy Franceschini / Future Farmers, US
Van Bo Le-Mentzel, DE
Brave New Alps, IT/UK
Matteo Moretti, IT
Felix Meyer-Christian / Costa Compagnie, DE
Anja Adler & Dominik Wind / Open State, DE
and many more.

This series of conferences co-develops with the Master in Eco-Social Design at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. The conference offers a mix of inspiring presentations, talks, reflections, dialogical formats, hands-on workshops, performances and excursions in a convivial atmosphere with good food, music, sun, mountains, … It is connected to the festival “hier und da – gut leben im ländlichen Raum / il buon vivere nelle zone periferiche” in Obervinschgau / Alta Val Venosta and move there for the shared program on Saturday and Sunday. Past conferences: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

Call for projects, papers, provocations, products, purgatories, paradises, promises, plans, phantasies, policies, poetries … (open til 8.3.2019)

Focus 2019:
Make Transformation Tangible!

Designers are making things tangible, literally and metaphorically. This is of particular importance in times, where on the one hand complexity often seems to be overwhelming, while on the other hand (fake) oversimplification, anxiety and superficiality in hyper-accelerated media are threatening democracy. It is a challenge for designers to create visualizations, physicalizations and environments that reduce complexity without trivializing things but empower people to confront complexity in creative ways – in analogue spaces, digital spheres and their overlaps.

Eco-social designers want to contribute to a much-needed transformation of the relations among humans and between humans and nature, in order to move towards more sustainable, non-alienated, resilient, just and equitable futures. This embraces a myriad of changes of producing, distributing and consuming, of living and working together, of societies, economies and cultures. As a whole, this can be called the big eco-social transformation.

Designers can drive, enable, inspire and support such progressive eco-social changes. They can co-create concrete utopias of inclusive, open and sustainable societies, as contemporary practices and as tangible future visions. They can (co-)design environments, where people can imagine, experience and experiment such futures. This is important in times where negative narrations create an atmosphere of fear, hopelessness and powerlessness, triggered by apocalyptic fiction, dystopian science fiction, terrible news all the time, and by serious reports and publications on multiple crises and disasters to come. But the disastrous developments should call for action, not resignation. There is a need for positive future trajectories that motivate, reinstall hope and the ability to “do something” now.

Designers together with others can make transformation imaginable, tangible and enjoyable!

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