© Jap Sam Books
When Everything is Designed

The World as Project

In the past, designers created objects. Today, practically everything is designed: the climate, processes, refugee camps. But when everything is designed, it is high time to stop judging design solely on aesthetic criteria.

According to architect and professor of Design Theory Friedrich von Borries, we need a political theory of design. Man is forced to design the conditions under which he lives. If this happens in such a way that options for action are reduced, we are dealing with subjugation. In his manifesto The World as Project: A Political Theory of Design, Von Borries argues for a design (of survival, society, the self) that evades the totalitarian logic of securitization and imagines new forms of living together against the ideology of lack of alternatives. He will discuss these ideas together with curator Saskia van Stein.

About the speakers

Friedrich von Borries is an architect and since 2009 Professor for Design Theory at the HFBK (Hochschule für bildende Künste/University of Fine Arts), Hamburg. From 2003 to 2009 he run the office raumtaktik in Berlin together with Matthias Böttger. In 2008, he was general commissioner and curator of the German Contribution to the XI. Venice Architectural Biennal. At the HFBK Hamburg and in his Berlin based ‘Projektbüro’, Von Borries and his team create project into which the methods and practices of different disciplines flow, including Design, Architecture and Urban Planning, which meet Art, Dance and Theatre, Theory of Design, Architecture, Urbanity as well as Media Sciences, Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Politics and History.

Saskia van Stein is an independent curator, moderator, and educator with an emphasis on design and architecture. Since 2019 she’s headmaster of the MA entitled ‘The Critical Inquiry Lab’, a department with artistic (design)research at its core. She was Director at Bureau Europa, platform for architecture and design, in Maastricht (2013–2019) and a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (now Het Nieuwe Instituut) in Rotterdam (2003–2012). She contributes to the development of cultural discourse, and she’s a board member of multiple advisory committees, involved in the several juries and advisory bodies such as The Independent School for the City and the architectural journal Oase. Besides her work as Head of Department at the Design Academy, she is a PhD candidate at the Curatorial Research Community at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

Ingo Offermanns studied Fine Arts at the Akademie der bildenden Künste München and completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem. Since 2001, he has worked as an independent designer specializing in books and printing for a number of museums and publishing houses in Germany and abroad. Before taking up his post at the HFBK Hamburg, in 2006, Ingo Offermanns lectured at a number of institutions, including the ArtEZ and at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA). In 2015, Ingo Offermanns founded the research platform Inter Graphic View, of which he is editor in chief. Since 2016, Ingo Offermanns is member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).

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