Papanek Symposium 2019
September 26–27 

Real World: Design, Politics, Future
Porto Design Biennale, Portugal

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. The stakes for design have never been higher, as its interventions are dispersed across all aspects of the informational, virtual and material strata that shape our real worlds.

The Papanek Symposium 2019 organised by Alison J. Clarke and Francisco Laranjo debates both the future, and the future of design: The places, ideas and means by which the politics of design, and the design of politics come together. Speakers include Ramia Mazé, Flavia Dzodan, Akwugo Emejulu, Ahmed Ansari, Cameron Tonkinwise, among others. A series of workshops and open forums will be led by the Decolonising Design Group.

Public event, free of charge. Event conducted in English language. Book here.