Talk & Conversation Is Design Political?

May Day Protest, Berlin 2013 © RLF © RLF


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

May Day Protest, Berlin 2013 © RLF

Design becomes political when we see more in it than the shaping of our environment’s surfaces. Friedrich von Borries, architect and professor of Design Theory at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK), talks about his concept of design as an emancipatory praxis that intervenes in the world in order to change and improve it. He is in conversation with Juliet Kinchin, Curator at MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design.
Is Design Political? is presented in collaboration with Archtober, New York City’s Architecture and Design Month. The event is part of the global lecture series Kritikmaschine, organized by the Goethe-Institut and Kursbuch, one of Germany’s leading intellectual magazines.

Friedrich von Borries, architect and professor of Design Theory at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg, Germany, operates at the intersection of urban planning, architecture, design, and art. His work focuses on the relationship between design practice and socio-political developments. "As scientists we try to comprehend the world. As designers we try to change it. We engage with the big questions of our time―global economic inequality, environmental destruction and climate change, technologies of surveillance, and security policies―by drawing on the tools of both, research and design.«

Juliet Kinchin joined The Museum of Modern Art in 2008 as Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, focusing on the history of modern design. She is currently an honorary senior research fellow at The University of Glasgow where she was formerly a senior lecturer in the Department of the History of Art, and the founding director of the graduate program in decorative arts and design history. She has also held faculty positions in history of art and design at The Glasgow School of Art, and at The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in Design, New York. Additionally, she has worked as a curator for Glasgow-based museums and art galleries, as well as London's Victoria and Albert Museum.