Because We Are Living in a
  Material World

“People have always been good at imagining the end of the world, which is much easier to picture than the strange sidelong paths of change in a world without end.”

― Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

If there is a consensus on anything in the world, it is that we are heading at light speed towards a catastrophic end. The urgency of the situation is read and felt all around us. It usually refers to the abuse of natural resources and the amount of waste we produce and leave behind! From the absurd amount of plastic in the oceans to the insane level of deforestation and biodiversity loss in such a short time, we face a huge ecological crisis. That is also a design crisis!


The design world cannot keep spinning as it is. It is just not sustainable. Design is part of the problem. But, in equal proportion, it can also be part of the solution. Designers from every corner of the world and different professional spheres—universities, cultural institutions, studios, newsrooms--, are now swimming against the current in a monumental effort to change the status quo. Everything is being questioned at the moment: manufacturing processes, the scale of production, choice of materials, natural resources extraction and the chain of production-distribution-waste generated.


In this, we’re delighted to announce that Formafantasma’s Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin are the 2022 Heads of School. They are well-versed in tackling these hyperbolic problems through the lenses of design. With projects such as Ore Streams and Cambio, Formafantasma has been investigating materials from cradle to crate, trying to unmask the ecological, historical, political and social forces shaping the discipline of design today. 


Titled “The School of the Untold”, the 6-weeks program curated by Formafantasma consists of a roster of workshops, lectures, excursions and more to deep dive into the expansive understanding of realities that shape today’s world through materiality. The applications are now open. Check it out below for more information on how to join us this Summer.


There’s never been a more pressing time to rethink what the histories and impacts of materiality and material culture hold for the future of humanity. So preview the workshop program and stellar line-up of tutors on our website, and get ready to APPLY NOW!


Before we see you again next July 18 - August 26 in Dresden for the Summer School Class 2022, take a look back at what we did last Summer at the Design Campus.


We hope you join one, or more, of the workshops of the Summer School this year!


-- Thomas and Aline

-- Thomas A. Geisler
Director of Museum of Decorative Arts / Design Campus, Dresden
-- Aline Lara Rezende, Editor and
Design Campus Chief Knowledge and Impact Officer

The School of the Untold: APPLY

Drum roll, please: The Design Campus Summer School, Class  2022 applications are now open!

The six-week programme titled "The School of the Untold" proposes a dialogue with the Museum of Decorative Arts collection: together with workshop participants, we will search for new connections between the artefacts on display and the larger geopolitical contexts. With this in mind, the aim is to venture into the museum's rich collection to explore the hidden stories behind the historical legacy of the artefacts on display.

The program expands on the material-based framework currently structuring the museum’s collection. Each week, the museum conservator will select a series of objects from the collection’s themes: Metal, wood, ceramic, plastic, and miscellaneous. The program aims to recontextualise the classification of objects made solely according to physical materiality.


Week 1: Wood: Archive of the Lost Forest

Week 2: Metal: A Geography of Malleability

Week 3: Earth: Archaeological Illusions

Week 4: Plastic: Performative Plasticity

Week 5: Miscellaneous: Mundane Hardware

Week 6: Immaterial: Beyond the Plinths


© Pokal als Daphne mit Korallenzinken (Nürnberg, um 1580 - 1586), SKD Collection: Grünes Gewölbe

Lab project: Spoon Archaeology

In light of the impending ban of single-use plastic cutlery in the European Union, the multimedia exhibition Spoon Archaeology, displays a collection of disposable cutlery, staged as archaeological artefacts, design curiosities and anthropological witnesses of an era that is about to end. The installation presents the material and immaterial cultural heritage of the past and present and invites guests to rethink sustainable solutions for the future by questioning traditional design culture.

Spoon Archaeology by German designers Peter Eckart and Kai Linke was developed at the Design Campus LAB as Germany's contribution to the London Design Biennale 2021  and was awarded a special commendation by the jury. The exhibition was curated by Thomas A. Geisler, the Director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden, part of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD), and is now on display at the museum till 31/10/2022. 

Read more about Spoon Archaeology at Voices, the new Digital Platform of the SKD.

© SKD, Foto: Klemens Renner

Network: German Design Graduates x Goethe Institut x 27th Biennial of Design (BIO27),
in Ljubljana 

In cooperation with the German Design Graduates and Goethe Institut, the Design Campus awarded scholarships to three students to participate in this year’s Summer School. 

The graduates were nominated by public voting based on their final project’s affinity to material and utopic potentials, themes of the Design Campus Summer School, Class 2022 – The School of the Untold, curated by Formafantasma.

The scholarship includes participation in a one-week workshop as well as board and lodging. Furthermore, the awarded students' graduation projects are displayed at BIO27 - Super Vernaculars, the 27th Biennial of Design, Ljubljana, curated by Jane Withers


Check out the winning projects below:

TO THE BONES (Ella Einhell ellaeinhell)

Migration of Matter (Cindy Valdez cindyserrat)

BetaWare (Lara Weller laraanna

Exhibition Space, Ljubljana © SKD, Foto: Jasmin Schauer


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