About the Victor J. Papanek Foundation

The Victor J. Papanek Foundation, University of Applied Arts Vienna, seeks to advance the understanding of design from the perspective of social responsibility. It supports design as an innovative and creative practice with the potential to transform societies and enhance human well-being. Inspired by Victor Papanek’s critical and cross-cultural approach to design culture, the newly established Foundation will further an inclusive approach to design that challenges the purely commercial imperative of product culture.

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News and upcoming events

Unbox Labs 2014
Creative Lab Research Project India

Unbox Labs 2014 are seeking 8 creative practitioners & 8 researchers from the UK along with 20 creative practitioners & researchers from India, to collaborate on and initiate exciting projects that respond to the challenges of our urban futures. During the 10-day lab from 24 Feb-7 March 2014, the group will work together in small teams, along with local mentors and advisors, on-site in India at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. At the end of the lab, participants will present their work to a group of mentors, advisors and interested organizations. The lab will provide the opportunity and space to pursue a creative project that builds on your own skills while also leveraging complementary skills and attitudes provided by the team as well as the mentor group.

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Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Research Award 2013-2016
Victor J Papanek: Émigré Cultural Networks & the Founding of Social Design

The University of Applied Arts Vienna has been awarded a major Austrian Scientific Fund (FWF) grant supporting an international team of research scholars exploring the theoretical foundations of social design. The project, led by Univ. Professor Alison J. Clarke (Director, Victor J. Papanek Foundation) and including senior researcher Dr. Elana Shapira and junior researcher Bryleigh Morsink, involves a three-year intensive research project (2013-2016) highlighting the legacy of Victor Papanek's work.

Papanek Lecture 2013
Frugal Digital Design? Technology for the Underserved

Vinay Venkatraman, co-founder of Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) and TED speaker, will address the issue of digital design in alternative and emerging economies.

Trained as a product & interaction designer in India and Italy, Vinay helps shape policy initiatives for the Danish government and consults for global companies on innovation around new product experiences and design strategy; previous clients include Nokia, Intel, Novo Nordisk, Maersk line, Lufthansa Technik, Philips lighting. His passion lies in incubating new technological ideas, finding new models of sustainable socio-economic development using appropriate technologies; he will be sharing these ideas in the 2nd Papanek Memorial Lecture.

Venue: AULA der Wissenschaften, Wollzeile 27a, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Map

November 14, 2013, 18:00.

Public event, free of charge. Register here

Papanek Symposium 2013
Alternative and Emerging Economies of Design

The Papanek Symposium 2013 brings together international experts from China, Europe, India, Singapore, and the US, to examine the social and political imperative of design in emerging economies.

Design in the 21st century, harnessed by rising powers striving for economic competitiveness and cultural profile on the world stage, has taken on a newly urgent political significance. The unprecedented quantity of production and cultural engagement with design, from China to India, is shaping our collective futures. Can alternative design genres develop on the periphery of established neo-liberal models of economics and consumer culture? What is their potential to generate social innovation and challenge pre-existing, unsustainable economies of production?

Alternative and Emerging Economies of Design: The Social Imperative of Global Design joins together voices from leading international design institutes, research thinktanks, social science projects and applied design initiatives to question the social futures of design. From the frugal digital initiative led by TED-speaker Vinay Venkatraman (frugaldigital.org), to the ethnographic corporate research of PARC Xerox (parc.com) and the smaller scale initiatives of hybrid design innovators (quicksand.co.in), this second Papanek Symposium offers a unique perspective on the design politics of emerging economies.

Venue: AULA der Wissenschaften, Wollzeile 27a, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Map

November 14-15,  2013

Curated by Alison Clarke with Heng Zhi

Kindly supported by the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs

Public event, free of charge. Register here

Design For The Real World Exhibition
Helen Hamlyn Centre For Design

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design's annual exhibition of work by its research associates will take place at the Royal College of Art this autumn as part of the 2012 London Design Festival. Its title pays homage to the 40th anniversary of the English-language publication of Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek.

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Papanek Symposium 2011
Anti-Design: Prescription for Rebellion?

The Victor J. Papanek symposium celebrates the legacy of Papanek as a leading critical thinker of design. Each bi-annual event embraces a timely theme, bringing together interdisciplinary speakers to discuss and debate issues with a bearing on contemporary design practice.

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