Designing Futures

Z33 Debates: Designing Futures
Design Week Milan

“Showing nothing, meaning more”

In a series of in-depth interviews in Atelier Clerici, Z33 rethinks what design can mean in and for the future. Topics are: design and future thinking, the practice of exhibiting design, design mentorship and collaborative learning, and design discourse and critique. What can design mean for future thinking? What is the value of design exhibitions and biennials? Is there room for a European Design Parliament; a Manifesta for design? What is the role of mentorship and collaboration in design? And finally, what can Design Week Milan mean for the development of design discourse and critique?

For Z33, these debates and questions are not merely critical notes. They are at the core of design practice and design thinking. The relocation of Z33 in Milan from Ventura Lambrate to Palazzo Clerici can be considered as a symbolical gesture, indicating that Z33 aims to bring this debate from the periphery to the centre.


Discourse and Critique. Interview with Johanna Agermann Ross and Tamar Shafrir

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Jan Boelen, Johanna Agermann Ross of Disegno magazine and  freelance design writer and critic Tamar Shafrir discuss the role of design discourse and critique at the horizon of Milan Design Week. Text Karen Verschooren Duration 01:03:35, in Engli... Read more »

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Mentorship and Collaboration. Interview with Aldo Bakker and Rianne Makkink

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In the third debate, Jan Boelen, Aldo Bakker and Rianne Makkink discuss their practice of mentorship and collaboration in their role as teachers at the Design Academy Eindhoven, in their own studios, and as mentors in the upcoming design biennial BIO... Read more »

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Practice of Exhibiting. Interview with Joseph Grima

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In the second Z33 Debate, 'Practice of Exhibiting,' Jan Boelen and Joseph Grima discuss the background and their ideas for a 'European Design Parliament.' Text Karen Verschooren Duration 00:51:23, in English. Functioning in a (design) world, w... Read more »

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Future Thinking. Interview with Tobias Revell

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In the first Z33 Debate, 'Future Thinking,' Jan Boelen and Tobias Revell explore a series of questions related to design and future thinking. Whereas all designers design for the future, some do it more intentionally than others; for some, proposing ... Read more »

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FoAM Futures Lab. Future Fictions – Perspectives on World-building, Z33 House for contemporary art, 5 October 2014–4 January 2015. © Kristof Vrancken / Z33.

Design and Future Thinking. Reading Recommendations

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As Studio Future unfolds into exhibitions and events, the Z33 Research archive of books, articles and videos about future thinking and design grows. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good set to start out with. Most of the articles and es... Read more »

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Tamar Shafrir. Design Discourse vs. Milan Design Week

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The Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano is widely considered one of the most important showcases of furniture and design worldwide. The largest of its kind, it is the annual meeting place for anyone who has or wants to carve out a spot for him... Read more »

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