The Heat is on!

This summer has been hot! And not in a good sense. Europe -and beyond- is literally on fire! With extreme droughts, heatwaves and wildfires raging across the continent, with “no significant rainfall recorded for almost two months across western, central and southern Europe and none forecast in the near future, meteorologists say the drought could become the continent’s worst in more than 500 years.” Reported Jon Henley for The Guardian on August 13, 2022. 

If you quickly google the latest headlines on the major news channels, you will note a spotlight on climate emergency now more than ever. “Adapting to climate change is no longer an option. It’s an obligation.” Reported Laura Kyle for the AlJazeera also on August 13, 2022. Each year, the threat of Global Warming is hitting closer to home, wherever you are. Including here, the Saxon Swiss National Park, near the Design Campus in Pillnitz, was on fire for the past weeks – you couldn’t see the threat but smell it. What to do?

One of the major quests behind the School of Utopias, the Design Campus Summer School, is to be a space where creatives gather to rethink these troubled times. This year, the The School of the Untold curated by Formafantasma focused on the many layers of materiality and the histories and complexities behind it. Each of the six-week program explored diverse perspectives on material and immaterial culture, from the origins of artefacts in a museum, to the complete process of extracting resources, such as iron from nature and producing objects out of it, or to creating a water wheel powered printing press. One workshop group even put “fire” within the museum’s premises to remember the archaic and apocalyptic force behind this element. Incredible efforts and outputs created in just a week’s time. These highlighted projects demonstrate not only the ingenuity of the design community gathered here in Pillnitz during the Summer School, but also how design has the potential to help create awareness of current issues, to build new and responsive tools in times of crisis, and to bring hope and optimism to co-create a better future.


The time we spend together at the Design Campus in summer is fun, but also very serious and relevant. We call it School of Utopias not because we want to create a perfect and unreachable dream island. “Utopianism is social dreaming,” as the utopian studies scholar and political scientist Lyman Tower Sargent defined. Amidst all the crisis and disruptions we are seeing in the world, it is up to us as citizens, as designers, as cultural agents, to take matters into our own hands, and act! We are proud to be a space that offers opportunities for deep thinking and radical experimentation. And we are even more proud of the participants from all different countries and projects created here at the Design Campus.


This is the last week of the Summer School Class 2022. To celebrate it, we will have a special closing party this Friday, with our traditional OPEN STUDIO night, where you can see the results of this week’s workshops. And of course, we will celebrate all this hard work and big achievements by finally dancing into the dark!


Join us!

-- Thomas and Aline

-- Thomas A. Geisler
Design Campus and Kunstgewerbemuseum Director
-- Aline Lara Rezende, Editor and
Design Campus Chief Knowledge and Impact Officer

Week 4 Open Studio: The Untold River Printing Press by the workhop of Future Farmers  ©Tillmann Brockmann


Curious about the outcomes of this week’s workshop? 
Meet our mentors and participants of the last workshop week "Immaterial: Beyond the Plinths" which has been mentored by architect and curator Luigi Alberto Cippini (Armature Globale) working with his group on experimetal architecture and Martina Muzi, designer and curator, focusing within her workshop on the exploration of artefacts and material.

Join us for an Open Studio visit followed by drinks on the dance floor of the Design Campus with the DISCOnnect crew in the spectacular Pillnitz Palace and Park. 

This Open Studio will mark the end of the 6-weeks Summer School program Class 2022 - The School of the Untold.

Friday, 26.08.2022 from 6.30 pm – 10.00 pm

Free Entrance.


Werft Laubgast - Workshopspace for Nanotourism Lab Project  ©AA Visiting School

LAB SHOW DOWN: AA Nanotourism Visiting School Finale

This Friday also marks the grand finale of the AA Nanotourism Visiting School Lab Project. There will be a chance to see the results of their intense workshop and prototypes for responsible local tourism in Dresden.

For the past two-weeks, the AA Nanotourism Visiting School took over the old village centre of Leuben, located around the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Design Campus to create alternative possibilities of connecting visitors and inhabitants that stem from meticulous cultural and social explorations of the focus area.

Expect to see 1:1 scale, conceptual and site-specific interventions in a show down of their results on Friday.

This Lab project is a collaboration between the destination management organisation Dresden Marketing Board, the Design Campus and the AA Nanotourism Visiting School.

Friday, 26.08.2022 from 02.00 pm – 06.00 pm

at Werft Laubegast - Österreicher Str. 95, 01279 Dresden

Free Entrance.


Lecture of Aljosa Dekleva, Architect and Head of Nanoturismus Lab Project ©SKD


The Digital Talks bring a series of experts guiding us on a deeper dive into each week’s theme. The Digital Talks are live-streamed via Zoom. 

The last Digital Talk will be on

Wednesday, 24.08.2022, at 6.00 p.m.

Elise Misao Hunchuck is a transdisciplinary researcher, editor, writer, and educator. Her research practice employs cartographic, photographic and text-based methods to document, explore, and archive co-constitutive relationships between resources, infrastructures, humans and more-than-humans.

Marco Ferrari is an architect, researcher and educator. He is co-founder of Studio Folder, an agency for visual and spatial research working across the editorial, digital and exhibition domains, while pursuing autonomous research paths that explore the politics of representation and territory.


Here is the Zoom link for his lecture:



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