Undesign Symposium Poster

Symposium: Undesign

2 June 2016
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Heiligenkreuzer Hof, Refektorium, Schönlaterngasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria

Speakers: Marloes ten Bhömer, Jochen Eisenbrand, Francisco Laranjo, Ramia Mazé, Sarah Owens, Catharine Rossi, Thomas Thwaites, Maiko Tsutsumi

The symposium is convened by Björn Franke for the Department of History and Theory as part of the FWF Research Project “Émigré Design Networks and the Founding of Social Design”, led by Alison J. Clarke.

Register here

Full Programme

What does it mean when the outcome of a design process is the decision not to produce an object? Is this a design decision? How can designers work outside the narrow constraints of the profession and deal with real world issues? Is design for behaviour change an appropriate tool and what are the limitations of this approach? How might ‘undesign’ processes be used as a medium through which to investigate a design issue?

This symposium explores new and emergent critical positions in design through the concept of ‘undesign’. Led by a panel of international designers and design researchers, the symposium takes the concept of ‘undesigning’ to mean reducing, simplifying, removing or eliminating design (and complexity). Building on the tradition of critical design, it aims to uncover and examine new functions for contemporary design.

Upcoming Events

Guest Lecture

Edward Saunders

Negotiating Questions of Method in Biography

25.05.2016, 16:30
Seminarraum Postgasse

Dr Edward Saunders is Researcher and Deputy Director at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography, Vienna.

Although biography is one of the most popular forms of historical writing, as a literary genre it is notoriously resistant to theory. This creates a challenge for historians of culture seeking to adopt critical approaches to life narratives. This guest lecture will present biography studies as a research field, exploring some of its central topics and drawing on the case study of the emigré writer Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), chiefly famous for his novel Darkness at Noon. Widely read in his lifetime, Koestler was also an accomplished non-fiction writer and autobiographer whose own life story became the source of considerable controversy.

This seminar is being held in connection with the FWF research project Émigré Culture Networks and the Founding of Social Design’.

Guest Lecture

Carmen Weisskopf, !Mediengruppe Bitnik

Random Darknet Shopping Bots, Mail Art and Surveillance Algorithms

08.06.2016, 10:00–12:30
Seminarraum Postgasse

!Mediengruppe Bitnik (read – the not mediengruppe bitnik) live and work in Zurich. They are contemporary artists working on and with the Internet. Their practice expands from the digital to affect physical spaces, often intentionally applying loss of control to challenge established structures and mechanisms. !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s works formulate fundamental questions concerning contemporary issues. !Mediengruppe Bitnik are the artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo. Their accomplices are the London filmmaker and researcher Adnan Hadzi and the reporter Daniel Ryser.

Guest Lecture

Onkar Kular

Designing Interventions

23.06.2016, 10:00–12:30
Seminarraum Postgasse

Onkar Kular’s work investigates how contemporary design practice, its processes, methodologies and outputs, can be used as a medium to engage with and question the understanding of cultural and popular issues. His work uses a range of different media, appropriate to the particular research project to include new objects, films, events, performances and installations, and is disseminated internationally through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, film festivals and publications. He has also curated the exhibitions Crafting Narrative and The Citizens Archive of Pakistan. Onkar Kular is the current Stanley Picker Fellow in Design and Professor in Design Interventions at HDK, Gothenburg University.

Past Events

2016, 23 May
Christopher Long
Central European Modernists and the Varieties of Southern California Design
Department of Design History
University of Applied Arts

2016, 18 May
Alison J. Clarke
Keynote Lecture: ‘Design Anthropology: Reassessing Historiography and Critical Methods in Design Studies’
University of Antwerp

2016, 4 May
Heng Zhi
Understanding Shenzai
Department of Design History
University of Applied Arts

2016, 20 April
Tido von Oppeln
Design Exhibited: Versuche zu einer Praxis der Theorie im Design
Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts

2015, 13 November
Alison J. Clarke
‘Designs for the Real World: Cold War “Soft” Diplomacy and the Emergence of Radical Design Anthropology in 1960s Design & Engineering’
Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, UK

2015, 30–31 October
Alison J. Clarke
‘Buckminster Fuller’s Reindeer Abattoir: The Influence of Finland’s North on 1960s Radical Design’
North as Meaning in Design and Art
Kulttuuritalo Korundi, Lapland

2015, 14 October
Book Discussion with John Thackara
‘How to thrive in the next economy’
Café Prückel, Wien

2015, 24–25 September
Alison J. Clarke
‘Work Activity: The Politics of Work and Design in a Neo-Liberal Economy’
Fair Design: International Conference on Design Theory and Criticism
Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Design, Warsaw, Poland

2015, 11–13 September
‘How we live and how we might live: Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism’
Annual Design History Society Conference 2015
California College of Arts, San Francisco, USA

2015, 8 June
Alison J. Clarke
‘Buckminster Fuller’s Reindeer Abattoir and Other Designs for the Real World’
NORDES 2015 Conference, Design Ecologies
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden

2015, 27-28 May
Alison J. Clarke and Elana Shapira (Co-Organisers)
Emigre Design Culture: Histories of the Social in Design
Papanek Symposium 2015
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2015, 20 February
Alison J. Clarke
How dependent is the design profession on cultures of migration?
Design Culture Salon
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

2014, 26 September – 15 December
Alison J. Clarke (Co-Curator)
Exhibition: ‘How Things Don’t Work: The Dreamspace of Victor Papanek’
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design,
New York, USA

2014, 4 December
Alison J. Clarke (Co-Curator and Panellist)
Panel Discussion, ‘Permanent Garbage: Victor Papanek and Beautiful Visions of Failed Systems’
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design,
New York, USA

2014,18–19 September
Alison J. Clarke
Keynote: ‘Design Dispersed: The Origins of the Social in Design’
Design Culture: Object, Discipline and Practice
University of Southern Denmark, Kolding


2014, 3 June
Adam Drazin
Setting up a laboratory of material life: Can anthropology and the studio mix?
Lecture Series, Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2014,22–23 May
Björn Franke
‘The Future, the Possible and the New’
‘Multiply Futures’: International Design Symposium
Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria

2014,5 May
Alison J. Clarke
‘Design Activism and the Cultural Cold War’
Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture
New York, USA

2014,24 April
Alison J. Clarke
‘Where Social Science Meets Design’
Configuring Light/Staging the Social: A New Research Agenda
London School of Economics, UK

2014,13–16 April
Bryleigh Morsink
‘New Zealand’s Pioneering Emigre Architects: An Exceptional Legacy in the South Pacific’
Crossing Boundaries: Rethinking European Architecture Beyond Europe
University of Palermo, Italy

2014,10 April
Josef Moser
Das Krankenhaus als Designobjekt: Entwicklung, Tendenzen
Lecture Series
Department of Design History and Theory, University of Applied Arts Vienna

2014, 7–10 April
Alison J. Clarke
Public lecture as Robert W. Deutsch Visiting Scholar Social Design
‘Designer for the Real World’
MICA, Baltimore, USA

2013, 15 November
Alison J. Clarke (Organiser)
Emerging & Alternative Economies of Design: The Social Imperative of Global Design
Papanek Symposium 2013

2013, 14 November
Vinay Venkatramam
Frugal Digital Design? Technology for the Underserved
Papanek Memorial Lecture 2013

2013, 20–23 October
Alison J. Clarke
‘Alternative and Emerging Economies of Design in the City’
UNESCO Summit of Creative Cities
Beijing, China

2013, 13 June
James Hennessey and Alison J. Clarke
Discussion: Nomadic Furniture Revisited
MAK, Vienna

2013, 12 June
James Hennessy
‘How Things Don’t Work’: The Politics of Design
Discussion: Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2013, 2 March
Alison J. Clarke
‘The Present-day turn towards Design Anthropology’
Design Studies Symposium
Parsons The New School for Design, New York

2013, 10 January
Alison J. Clarke
‘Gadgets, Gizmos and Gimmicks, Anti-Advertising Discourse & 1970s Design Activism’
Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Graz

2012, 14–18 November
Design for the Real World – But which world? What Design? What Real?
American Anthropological Association Annual Conference
San Francisco, USA

2012, 18 October
Alison J. Clarke
‘Actions Speak Louder – Victor Papanek and 1970s Design Activism’
Alvar Aalto Akatemia, Helsinki, Finland

2012, 20 September
Alison J. Clarke
‘Design for the Real World’
Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Symposium
Royal College of Art, London, UK

2012, 20 June, 6:30pm
Ezio Manzini
‘The War of Times and Places’
Lecture Series, Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2012, 9 June
Alison J. Clarke
Roundtable Discussion: Critical Pathways in Design Anthropology
Royal Anthropology Institute, London, UK

2012, 22 May
Stephen Duncombe
‘The Art of Activism’
Lecture Series: Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2012, 11–12 May
Alison J. Clarke
‘A Design Anthropology of the 21st Century Ideal Home’
Spaces and Places: British Design 1948–2012
Victoria & Albert Museum London, UK

2012, 28 March
Ruedi Baur
‘Designing Social Space’
Lecture Series, Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna, HS 2

2011, 12 November–25 March 2012
Familienmacher – Vom Festhalten, Verbinden und Loslassen
Volkskundemuseum Vienna

2012, 16 March
Eyal Weizman
‘Notes on Fields and Forums’
Lecture Series, Department of Design History and Theory
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2011, 10–11 November
Alison J. Clarke, Anthony Dunne, Jamer Hunt, Felicity D. Scott, John Thackara
Anti-Design: “Prescription for Rebellion?”
Papanek Symposium 2011
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2011, 9 November
John Thackara
‘Inverting the pyramid: The new geometry of design’
Papanek Foundation Inaugural Lecture
University of Applied Arts Vienna

2011, 8 November
Alison J. Clarke
‘Creative Transformations: Design as a Force for Social Innovation’
Expert Network Creative Industries
Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU in Brussels

2011, 7–10 September
Alison J. Clarke
Design Activism and Social Change
Annual Conference Design History Society 2011
Universitat de Barcelona and Foment de les Arts Decoratives, Barcelona, Spain

2011, 14–16 June
Alison J. Clarke
‘Materiality, Agency and Collecting’
Urban Materiality Workshop
Field Museum and DePaul University, Chicago, USA

2011, 3 March
Alison J. Clarke
‘Design Anthropology: Commodity Critique from Victor Papanek to Superstudio’
RCA/V&A History of Design and Material Culture Seminar
Royal College of Art, London

2011, 10–12 February
Björn Franke (Co-organiser)
Making/Crafting/Designing: Perspectives on Design as a Human Activity
Design Theory Symposium
Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, Germany