26 MAY 2009 5–9PM
Seminar 1: Design in service

Participants: Camilla Andersson (SE), Yanki Lee (UK), and Erlend Blakstad Haffner (NO)
Moderators: Ana Betancour, Ramia Mazé
Venue: Iaspis, Konstnärsnämnden, Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm
Language: English
Free admission

How do architects and designers engage critically with issues of public service, community interests or social change today? Do design representations and forms play a role? Can we identify emerging tactics for more inclusive or participatory forms of practice? This DESIGN ACT seminar invites three young practitioners from different countries to present examples of their work and to discuss their perspectives on such questions.

Traditionally, architecture and design are seen as 'service professions'. On behalf of patrons or clients, architects and designers typically serve the interests of those with money and in power. Underlying critical and participatory approaches to design, however, are questions about which values to represent and who's interests are at stake. There are both historical and contemporary examples that challenge the traditional role of design – operating, instead, to serve and advocate interests that might be overlooked or underrepresented.

17:00 Introduction: Magnus Ericson, Iaspis,
and Ramia Mazé, the Interactive Institute
17.20 Moderator introduction: Ana Betancour
and Ramia Mazé
17.30 Presentation: Camilla Andersson
18:15 Presentation: Yanki Lee
Break with coffee and snacks
19.30 Presentation: Erlend Blakstad Haffner
20.15 Panel discussion


Image 1/6PreviousNextSeminar 1.jpg


Video: Seminar 1/22 PreviousNextCamilla Andersson: Abnormal - intro


Designing Participations

Camilla Andersson (SE) is an architect investigating relations between architectural form and social norms. These relations, as manifested in the standards governing residential construction in Sweden, were the focus of AbNormal, a collaboration with industrial designer Karin Ehrnberger, which was exhibited at Sweden's Arkitekturmuseet in 2006. Based on social science statistics, she proposed a design for apartment construction that gives form to common deviations from the nuclear family model. This is part of her larger examination of architectural forms of representation as tools for discussing gender and other normative aspects of industrial standards. She works at AWL Arkitekter, an office mainly focused on housing, and lectures in different universities and countries. See also project in archive

Yanki Lee (UK) is an award-winning designer focusing on social innovation through design and user research methodologies. Currently a research fellow at the Helen Hamlyn Center at the Royal College of Art in London, she has a PhD in design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has participated in action-research projects and case studies in Asia and the UK, the multi-cultural 'Designing Across Boundaries' sustainable design program, creative design workshops within the RCA's Methods Lab, and the i-design 3 project focused on products, systems, services, and environments for the whole population, including those that are older or disabled. She leads student programs, judges design awards, and is active in designing and curating exhibitions both internationally and in her own community-interest gallery in London. See also project in archive

Erlend Blakstad Haffner (NO) is a Norwegian architect. During the third year in architecture school, Erlend Blakstad Haffner and Håkon Matre Aasarød bought a caravan, painted it red and founded the nomadic practice Fantastic Norway Architects. The ambition was to create an open, including and socially aware architectural practice and to re-establish the architect as an active participant and a constructor of society. Engaged with architecture and installations, as well as mobilisation processes and development strategies, Fantastic Norway also run a studio at the Bergen School of Architecture. Fantastic Norway's clients span from local communities to private investors and public institutions - the studio also initiates its own projects and their financial and political anchoring. Fantastic Norway has received numerous national and international awards and has been Widely featured in pUblications and exhibitions. See also project in archive

Ana Betancourt (SE) is an artist and an architect. Her work ranges from architectural and urban design, academic research, multidisciplinary art- and media projects. She founded and runs A + URL Architecture + Urban Research Laboratory, a design research centre and an operative consultancy organization, and she is Professor at the School of Architecture, Chalmers. Including projects in the area of critical design and art activism, her work investigates alternative strategies and ways to operate and catalyse change within global transformations affecting cities today. She is widely published, exhibited, and is a member of various international reference groups, networks and organizations, nationally and internationally. See also project in archive


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