Looking back on our event, I am very happy that the experiment worked:
we started with the idea that design today has effects everywhere and that sustainable lifestyles and systems require changes everywhere, too. Logical consequence: design should be used for the eco-social transitions we need so urgently. Therefor, designers got to get into the multi-facetted matters and concerns of such transformations and other actors working towards sustainable changes need an understanding of design and get together with designers for using this powerful instrument effectively.
To foster understanding, collaboration and co-design with our event we brought together divers persons, groups, practices and discourses – hoping that they work together in fruitful ways. And they did :) The setting we prepared, the tools and process we offered proofed to be useful. And above all, the persons and groups we invited were great!
We got plenty of very positive feedback, like “… using a very real local issue added so much tangible value to the experience as a opportunity for learning.” wrote Joe Shaw. The workshops showed that designers can get people work together to design and develop solutions. Within such creative processes not only products and services are designed, but the shared experience of successfully designing and producing together, is an outcome by its own. On top of this some relations created in such processes keep on working together, for example between the both initiatives L’Orto Semi Rurali and AKRAT in case of the workshop with Cecilia Palmer. The role of the designer as a facilitator works.
Some more praise: “I really appreciated the critical and alternative approach of the invited speakers.” (Andreas Trenker). And I was happy that the divers discourses completed to each other, in some cases it appeared as if they would have been prepared together as the two talks of Susanne Elsen and of Open State.
With her discourse on Eco-Social Transformation Susanne laid the ground for the practical approaches and examples Open State presented directly after her talk.
There are be many other things to mention and to show. We will soon publish a documentation, with all talks as videos and some more documents, among other the real-time-booklets that where produced by during the event by Nina & Elletra (Words & Ideas), Tobia (Photography), Philip & Amin (Design and much more, always with great efficiency and beauty). Thank you! And thanks to all the many volunteers!
Proceedings will be published somewhen next year. In the meanwhile we start preparing the next edition of BY DESIGN OR BY DISASTER, which might get going already in winter 2013. We will change setting and focus, because winter is not summer, and we will also consider the critical feedback, like the remark of Brave New Alps, who wished to have more time after the conferences to deepen issues in a discussion. Therefor we will foresee a more time for dialog after the talks next time. Ursula Tischner, who is currently organizing the sustainability maker convention (October 15, Cologne), wished there would have been a real party with dancing. I can only agree, saying with Emma Goldman: “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!”. More critical feedbacks and ideas are very welcome!
One thing did not work out at all: the incredibly committed and excellent cook Armin did get only very few donations for PREM PRASAD, the initiative providing food in the street of india. But fortunately you can also donate online. If you liked the food and the service, please give something!
Last but not least: I am happy to continue the collaboration with Alvise Mattozzi. Our both characteristics and competencies complete each other. And next time we get in a third person, which is more straight forward than both of us, too ;-)
See more images on FB.