Real World: Design, Politics, Future 
Papanek Symposium 2019
26-27 September 2019
Porto Design Biennale, Portugal

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Design is in crisis: Or, at the very least, in massive transition, exploring and rediscovering its potential during deeply problematic times. Real World: Design, Politics, Future the Papanek Symposium 2019, investigates design’s inherent tensions in the context of rising global far-right populism and the asphyxiating manipulation of information in a post-truth era. What potential is there for envisaging alternative political futures, and what role might design, and its politics, have in contributing to those futures? Strands of contemporary design practice proffer a critical, and often apocalyptic and dystopic vision of the future, while others happily conform to a financial system that demands a new consumable product for each and every multifarious context. Register here.

Opening Keynote, Alison J. Clarke
Bauhaus Dessau Festival School Fundamental
20 March 2019

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© University of Applied Arts Vienna Papanek Foundation

The émigré trajectories of Bauhaus designers, and the international impact they made on the objects and discourse of modernism forms a prominent theme of design history. This lecture considers another émigré story – that of Austrian-American Victor Papanek, whose work was defined by an ambivalence toward the functional modernism espoused by his fellow émigrés. It examines how his life as an émigré generated an alternative design approach, and the founding of socially responsible design as a pedagogic force. This lecture is delivered as part of the Bauhaus Dessau Centenary celebrations, under the theme School Fundamental.

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design 
Museu del Disseny de Barcelona
30 Oct 2019–02 February 2020

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© Vitra Design Museum

The exhibition Victor  Papanek: The Politics of Design, co-curated by Alison J. Clarke, is a cooperation between the Papanek Foundation, the Vitra Design Museum and the Barcelona Design Museum showcasing the materials of the Papanek archive, and highlighting the crucial theme of design as a political and social tool. Alongside the exploration of Papanek’s links with key thinkers and design figures, the exhibition features contemporary design works dealing with politically pertinent issues.

The show features work from cutting edge practitioners: Forensic Architecture; Faber Futures; Flui Colectivo; Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg; Femke Herregraven; NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism/ Hypen-Labs; Lucy and Jorge Orta; Tomás Saraceno; Maya Jay Varadaraj.