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WORLD DESIGN | Friedrich von Borries in conversation with Saskia van Stein (Goethe Institut)

8 June 2021 @ 17:00 - 19:00


The Goethe Institut invites you to join the conversation over ‘A Political Theory of Design’, with Professor Friedrich von Borries and design curator Saskia von Stein.

In the past, designers created objects. Today almost everything is designed: the climate, processes, even refugee camps. However, once everything is designed, it is time to stop judging design from an aesthetic point of view. According to Friedrich von Borries, we need a political design theory. Men are forced to shape the conditions under which they live. If this happens in such a way that options for action are reduced, we are dealing with submission.
In his manifesto Throwing the Worlds – A Political Design Theory (Suhrkamp, ​​2016) von Borries advocates a creative design (of survival, of society, of the self) that evades the totalitarian logic of securitization, and imagines new forms of coexistence against the ideology of the lack of alternatives.

Friedrich von Borries, born 1974, is an architect and, since 2009, professor of Theory of Design at the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) in Hamburg. He works in the areas of urban development, architecture, design, and art, and the focus of his work is the relationship between design and social development. Most of Borries’ projects are created in flexible, interdisciplinary teams that are put together anew for each project. Methods and practices from a wide variety of disciplines flow into the projects: design, architecture and urban planning meet art, dance and theater; Design, architecture and urban theory on media and cultural studies, philosophy, political science and history. In the ideal case, this creates complex projects with different levels and forms of expression.

Saskia van Stein is a curator, moderator and educator with a focus on design and architecture. Since 2019 she has been head of the MA with the title The Critical Inquiry Lab, a department with a focus on artistic (design) research. She was the head of Bureau Europa, a platform for architecture and design, in Maastricht (2013-2019), and worked as a curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam (2003-2012). She contributes to the development of cultural discourse, is a board member of several advisory bodies, and is involved in various juries and advisory bodies such as The Independent School for the City, and the architectural peer-to-peer review journal Oase.

The conversation will be held in English, and streamed online for free on June 8 @17:00. Visit Goethe Institut‘s website to know more about this engaging conversation and about its hosts.


8 June 2021
17:00 - 19:00
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Goethe-Institut Amsterdam
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Goethe Institut – Amsterdam – Online Event