11 SEPTEMBER 2009 2:30-8 PM
Seminar 2: at ExperimentaDesign '09 Lisbon

Participants: Ana Betancour (SE), Otto von Busch (SE), Tor Lindstrand (SE), Helena Mattsson (SE)
Panel guests: Emily Campbell (UK), Joseph Grima (US)
Moderators: Ramia Maze, Magnus Ericson
Venue: EXD'09 Lounging Space, Palacio Braamcamp, Patio do Tijolo 25, Lisbon, Portugal
Language: English

How can design materialize ideas that can lead to wider change? Can design reform - or contest - social and political conditions? Where does this take place - in the design studio or on the factory floor, in exhibition settings or on the streets? What are the emerging tactics, outcomes and audiences for such forms of practice?

The DESIGN ACT seminar explores critical roles for designers in society. In Sweden, architecture, fashion, and design have historically participated in constructing the ideals – and forms – of the welfare state. Today, practitioners continue to engage in social and societal issues, whether materializing a critique of the status quo, proposing alternatives to reform systems and spaces, or staging participatory design processes and public debates. While too often reduced to questions of form and function, such tendencies expose powerful and political forms of design practice.

Featuring a series of presentations from Swedish designers and a panel session with international guests, the DESIGN ACT seminar at ExperimentaDesign reflects on historical precedents and discusses examples of contemporary practice. Presentations by: Helena Mattsson, on Swedish welfare politics, critique and design; Ana Betancour, on architecture as catalyst for social change; Otto von Busch, on hactivism and participation in fashion design; Tor Lindstrand, on architecture and performance for staging new social interactions.

The panel discussion among the presenters, international guests Emily Campbell and Joseph Grima, and the audience will take up the seminar theme in relation to issues in other contexts, disciplines and parts of the world – and, together, reflect on future directions for design.

2:30 -4:30 Part 1:
Introduction to DESIGN ACT
Presentations by Helena Mattsson and Tor Lindstrand
5:00 - 6:45 Part 2:
Presentations by Ana Betancour and Otto von Busch
7:00 - 8:00 Part 3:
(short) Break
Panel discussion with Emily Campbell and Joseph Grima


Image 1/18PreviousNextintro Magnus Ericson.jpg


Video: The Seminar 1/15 PreviousNextIntro

Piazza Taxingeplan
Dale Sko Hack


Ana Betancourt (SE) is a widely published and exhibited artist and architect. She founded and runs A + URU Architecture + Urban Research Laboratory, a design research centre and an operative consultancy organisation, and she is Professor at the School of Architecture, Chalmers University. Including numerous 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. See also project in archive

Otto von Busch (SE) is a Haute Couture Heretic and DIY-demagogue, but also a researcher at the Business and Design Lab at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. In his research, he explores the emergence of a new “hacktivist” designer role in fashion, where the designer engages participants to reform fashion from a phenomenon of dictations and anxiety to a collective experience of empowerment – in other words, to make participants become fashion-able. See also project in archive

Tor Lindstrand (SE) is an architect and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He founded International Festival with Marten Spangberg in 2004 as a long-term collaboration between architecture and performance. Raising questions surrounding distribution, accountability and ownership in specific social and economical contexts, International Festival is active in many prominent international venues and was awarded Architect of the Year in 2007 by the Swedish Association of Architects. See also project in archive

Helena Mattsson (SE) is Associate Professor in History and Theory of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, a partner in the architectural office Testbedstudio, an editor for the cultural periodical SITE, and in charge of a recently completed research project at the Museum of Architecture in Stockholm. She has written extensively on architecture, art and culture - an anthology co-edited with S 0 Wallenstein, Swedish Modernism: Architecture, Consumption and the Welfare State, will be published by Black Dog in 2010.

Emily Campbell (UK) is Director of Design at the Royal Society for the Arts in the UK and author of the blog 'Design & Society'.

Joseph Grima (US), an architect and researcher, is Director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.

Ramia Mazé (SE) is a senior researcher and project leader at the Interactive Institute – her work examines intersections among critical practice, sustainability, and social design.

Magnus Ericson (SE) is a project manager at Iaspis and, since 2007, has been assigned to pursue and develop Iaspis activities within the fields of design, crafts, and architecture.


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