Design as Learning: Re-edit

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The opening of Fiction Practice: Young Curator’s Lab at the Porto Design Biennale. Photo courtesy Porto Design Biennale.

During this year’s inaugural Porto Design Biennale, curator Mariana Pestana invited Jan Boelen and myself to lead a workshop as part of Fiction Practice: Young Curator’s Lab. The three-day workshop ended in an exhibition at the Casa Museu Quinta de Santiago, in the vicinity of Porto. The workshop took as a starting point the Design As Learning: A School of Schools Reader publication, produced on the occasion of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, A School of Schools.

Through a series of group readings, discussions and site visits, we looked at design education from a wide variety of angles, from its power structures to the spaces where it takes place, and considered how various alternative pedagogical models have been implemented throughout time. These readings, visits and reflections were then re-thought, re-hashed and re-edited to form new reflections and alternative pathways for design, education and design education. 

As the workshop came to an end, participants selected specific issues found in Design as Learning to comment on, enriched by the insights of our time together. This materialized in a “re-edit”, which was expertly translated into a poster format by Zurich-based design office Offshore Studio. At the end of the workshop, our space of encounter was transformed into a space of display, and each poster hung above our roundtable, in dialogue with one another. This was a snapshot of what had happened, a summary of the scope of our discussions, a series of conversation pieces. But because we did not want the discussion to end with the workshop, or to be accessible only to those who had taken part, we invited Dutch designer Teis de Greve to contribute to our installation with an iteration of his A Ditto, Online Device project, specifically customized to respond to the essays of Design as Learning. 

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Introducing the project by Teis de Greve –A Ditto, Online Device. Photo courtesy Porto Design Biennale.

FB_IMG_1572562534068View of the Design as Learning: Re-edit room at Fiction Practice: Young Curator’s Lab. Photo courtesy Porto Design Biennale.

FB_IMG_1572562529004View of the Design as Learning: Re-edit room at Fiction Practice: Young Curator’s Lab. Photo courtesy Porto Design Biennale.

Foreign Legion at the Porto Design Biennale

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Talking about the work of Foreign Legion at the Porto Design Biennale. Photo by Porto Design Biennale.

Last 27 September, Foreign Legion (a curatorial initiative I founded with Matylda Krzykowski) was invited to give a talk in the context of the inaugural Porto Design Biennale in Portugal. We presented the last year of work, starting with the A Woman’s Work symposium in January, and the two iterations of the exhibition Add to the Cake: Transforming the rules of female practitioners, which is on view at Kunstegewerbemuseum Dresden Schloss Pillnitz until 3 November.

The talk was an opportunity to showcase the issues we’ve been researching and working on, and anticipate some of the directions in which we’ll be focusing in the next months. The Porto Design Biennale audience was attentive and engaged, and we had an opportunity to continue the conversation throughout the evening and into the night. Thanks for having us!