Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design 
28 Sept 2018–10 March 2019 Exhibition
Vitra Design Museum, Germany

News Page Exhibition

© 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.

Design Revolution: Victor Papanek
22 November 2018 18:30
Public lecture by Alison J. Clarke
Vitra Design Museum, Germany


© University of Applied Arts Vienna Papanek Foundation

This open lecture, by Alison J. Clarke, co-curator of the exhibition Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design, explores the design revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s when Papanek’s book Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change emerged as a manifesto for the politics of design and sustainability. Looking beyond the clichéd images of student activism and hippiedom, the lecture frames Papanek’s design, networks and interventions in the context of the late Cold War geo-political historical context; arguing that design’s newly honed political imperative was borne of the U.S. military-industrial complex, as much as of idealistic counter cultures.

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


© University of Applied Arts Vienna Papanek Foundation

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.