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Untangling Design Purpose: An Istituto Marangoni London x Macromedia Munich Design Symposium

17 Apr 2024 (All Day)

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Symposium: Untangling Design Purpose

Online, Wednesday 17th April 2024


Keynote speakers: Professor Jonathan Chapman of Carnegie Mellon University
Professor Caroline Hummels of Eindhoven University of Technology.


In an era characterized by unprecedented complexity and interconnectedness, the role of design has never been more vital or challenging. Our world is a tapestry of intricacies, where design permeates every facet of our lives, shaping our interactions, environments, and experiences in profound ways. However, design has become deeply tied to the extractive practices of unchecked market capitalism. Whether in urban planning, product, architecture, interiors, service, fashion, user interface design, or even the design of systems and innovation, the decisions that designers make can have profound consequences. Designers must first do no harm.

As design has progressed from a traditional craft to an advanced professional field and an academic discipline, it has consistently encountered barriers and obstacles, only to evolve and adjust in response to the demands and opportunities of the times. Design can either perpetuate existing problems or offer innovative solutions and be a force of change; it can be a catalyst for sustainability, or inadvertently harm the environment; it can be a bridge between cultures and foster inclusivity, or carelessly perpetuate inequality.

The symposium Untangling Design Purpose is poised to delve profoundly into the core essence of design today, all in pursuit of answering fundamental questions. Our overarching goal is to envision new potentials of design for a hypercomplex world, transcending its origins and problematics, and harnessing its capacity to evolve into a potent, pluriversal catalyst for the regeneration and transformation of people and planet.

Keywords: design futures, symbiocene, global citizens, responsibility, critical design, commoning, pluriverse, regeneration, interconnection.


You can find the full programme at the symposium's Eventbrite:

17 Apr 2024 (All Day)

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