Emerging and Alternative Economies of Design: The Social Imperative of Global Design 

Papanek Symposium 2013

14-15 November

AULA der Wissenschaften

Vienna, Austria

The Papanek Symposium 2013 brought together international experts from China, Europe, India, Singapore, and the United States 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?
Emerging and Alternative Economies of Design: The Social Imperative of Global Design brings together voices from leading international design institutes, research think-tanks, social science projects, and applied design initiatives to question the social futures of design. 

Speaker, Jonathan Barnbrook

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), the second Papanek Symposium offers a unique perspective on the design politics of emerging economies.

Curated by Alison Clarke with Heng Zhi
Kindly supported by the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs


Sulfikar Amir

Sulfikar Amir is an assistant professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University. He holds a master’s degree in industrial design from Arizona State University and completed a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His work is mostly focused on science, technology, and society (STS), sociology of risk and resilience, and design studies. He is the author of “The Technological State in Indonesia: the Co-constitution of High Technology and Authoritarian Politics.”

Jonathan Barnbrook

Jonathan Barnbrook is a graphic designer and social activist. His projects include the logo for occupy London and collaborations with Adbusters the long-running anti-advertising group and magazine. He additionally creates self-generated political based design and posters. He teaches worldwide and is one of the founding members of Occupy design UK. His contribution to design was recognised in with a major retrospective at the design museum in London.

Babitha George

Babitha George anchors Quicksand’s Bangalore studio and leads multiple innovation projects with global corporations & foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, UNDP, Google, Cisco & IDEO, on subjects as varied as water and sanitation, technology convergence, internet, education and healthcare. Her prior work in education in India prompted her to actively think about the role of design thinking in social impact contexts, leading her to steer several of Quicksand’s social innovation projects, especially in the use of technology in education and vocational training.

Lorraine Justice

Lorraine Justice is currently the Dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The College currently has 140 professors and 2,200 students in the disciplines of Art, Animation, Graphic Design, Digital Media, Film, Interior Design, Industrial/Product Design, Illustration, Photography, Print and more. She is a Fellow of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) and was named one of the top 40 designers to watch by ID Magazine. She is the author of the new book by MIT Press, China’s Design Revolution, which was written for a Western audience to understand issues such as creativity and innovation in Mainland China.

Lucy Norris

Lucy Norris is an anthropologist based at University College London. Her interests include the anthropology of waste and value, in particular practices of disposal, transformation and recycling. Grounded in studies of materiality and material culture, her work on the circulation of worn clothing links domestic practices of ridding and recycling to the creation of second-hand markets locally and internationally, with a focus on India and the UK. Current research includes the global circulation of cast-offs and the shoddy recycling industry in India.

Xu Ping

Prof. Xu Ping is an executive member of the China Industrial Design Association, Vice-Director of China National Arts and Crafts Society, Vice-Director of Industrial Design Council of the China Artists Association, and a member of the Academic Degrees Committee of the Chinese State Council for the subjects of design and arts. He holds a PhD from the Nanjing Institute of Fine Arts and was formerly Chair of the Faculty of Design at Nanjing Institute of Fine Arts, Director of Research Centre of Design Culture and Policy, and Vice-Director of the Faculty of Design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Makiko Taniguchi

An anthropologist on PARC’s ethnography services team, Makiko Taniguchi focuses on understanding user/consumer needs and behaviors in socio-cultural and business contexts. She is passionate about innovative solutions that improve the lives of many people, and specializes in innovation and emerging markets — especially China. Prior to joining PARC, Makiko facilitated and consulted on several innovation strategy projects for large multinational corporations; worked for an innovation consultancy based in London; and worked at IDEO’s Shanghai office where she developed her expertise on China.

Vinay Venkatraman

Vinay Venkatraman is the co-founder of CIID (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design). Vinay helps shape the strategy and content for CIID through consulting, teaching and research lead initiatives. He is trained as product & interaction designer in India and Italy. His works in the past have spanned design of consumer products, software and film visual effects. He currently spends his time between creating new education curriculums, shaping policy initiatives for the Danish government and consulting large global companies on innovation around new product experiences and design strategy.