24 OCTOBER 2009 2–5 PM
Seminar 3: Design at Stake

Iaspis invites you to the 3rd DESIGN ACT seminar. It features presentations by practitioners from different countries discussing alternative ways of design thinking and acting today – with a specific focus on critical approaches to sustainability.

Participants: Ben Singleton (UK), Thérèse Kristiansson & Annika Enqvist / New Beauty Council (SE)
Panel guests: Martin Avila (SE/AR) and Sara Backlund (SE)
Moderator: Ramia Mazé
Venue: Iaspis, Konstnarsnamnden, Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm
Language: English
Free admission

What ideals might design perpetuate or change? Can design stimulate reflection within industry and institutions, among stakeholders and citizens? What new tactics might emerge from design engagement with critical theories or futures studies? Where does this take place - in the boardroom or exhibition, in the market or on the streets?

Design is no longer merely about satisfying functional requirements or basic human needs - it has become a powerful means for industries and institutions to expand consumer desire, market share and cultural capital. Giving persuasive form to things that effect what people do and what they desire, design shapes material culture and societal ideals. However, in light of current issues such as climate change, over-consumption and social inequity, designers are questioning prevalent ideas about lifestyle, taste and progress.

14:00 Welcome and introduction, Magnus Ericson and Ramia Mazé
14:20 Presentation: Thérèse Kristiansson & Annika Enqvist
15:00 Presentation: Ben Singleton
15:40 Break - drinks
16:00 Panel discussion with guests: Martin Avila and Sara Backlund
17:00 Finish - drinks




Video: Seminar 1/12 PreviousNextIntroduction Ramia Mazé

New Beauty Council


Ben Singleton (UK) An artist and designer, Benedict Singleton divides his time between working on high-level strategy and branding projects for a number of London-based agencies, and writing up a PhD on the convergence of politics and design in new organisational forms. Concerned with design research that is more supple, dexterous and savvy than earlier attempts have been, his research scans a horizon beyond the studio walls and attends to timescales exceeding the seconds or minutes in which an artefact is actively used. Central to this latter activity has been an ongoing collaboration with Jon Ardern on the project ARK-INC, a fictional profit-making, community-building company-cum-social movement founded on strong ecological principles, which gestures towards some of the morally difficult consequences such an enterprise might entail. See also project in archive

Thérèse Kristiansson & Annika Enqvist (SE) Thérèse Kristiansson, artist and architect, and Annika Enqvist, curator and lecturer, explore ways in which architecture is charged with authority in their project The New Beauty Council (NBC). Through conversations, staged situations, interventions and city walks, they apply artistic methods to instigate dialogues across politics, education, and business. As a collaborative initiative, NBC encourage new perspectives on public space, aesthetic and environmental values. Recent projects include NBC City Walks and Changed Perspectives c/o Stockholms stadsmuseum – four public talks about the city. Thérèse is also manager for the Stockholm Open Green Map and engaged in the feminist art duo Die Bösen Mösen, and Annika produced the Swedish pavilion at ExperimentaDesign05 Biennial and coordinated 'Saving the Planet in Style' as Svensk Form's international curator. See also project in archive

Martin Avila (SE) As a designer, consultant and educator, Martin Avila has lived and worked in many countries. He is currently a Doctorate student at HDK (School of Design and Crafts) in Gothenburg, developing a project that studies Hospitality and Hostility in Design, in collaboration with Konstfack in Stockholm, where he is also responsible for the area of 'Humanitarian Experience', at the Master program in Experience Design.

Sara Backlund (SE) Sara Backlund has worked with management and strategy at the Interactive Institute since 2002, and she has an educational background in media and communications studies, interaction design and entrepreneurship. Actively in developing and communicating the institute's research in the area of sustainability, she has worked within projects targeted at increasing energy awareness and responsible consumption.

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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