Why do design? What is it for? These are forward-looking questions for a creative discipline that seems more slippery to define than ever. In a world of dwindling natural resources, exhausted social and political systems, and an overload of information there are many urgent reasons to reimagine the design discipline, and there is a growing need to look at design education. Learning and unlearning should become part of an on-going educational practice. We need new proposals for how to organize society, how to structure our governments, how to live with, not against, the planet, how to sift fact from fiction, how to relate to each other, and frankly, how to simply survive.
This lecture Design as Learning asks: can design and design education provide these critical ideas and strategies?
Jan Boelen (b. 1967, Genk, Belgium) is artistic director of Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium, artistic director of Atelier LUMA, an experimental laboratory for design in Arles, France, and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (22 Sep–4 Nov 2018) in Istanbul, Turkey. He also holds the position of the head of the Master department Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
Since the opening, Z33 House for Contemporary Art has been fashioning projects and exhibitions that encourage the visitor to look at everyday objects in a novel manner. It is a unique laboratory for experiment and innovation and a meeting place with cutting-edge exhibitions of contemporary art and design. With Z33 Research, design and art research studios established in 2013, Boelen is transforming Z33 from exhibition-based to a research-based institution. At the initiative of Z33 and the Province of Limburg, Manifesta 9 took place in Belgium in 2012. As part of his role at Z33, Boelen curated the 24th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2014.
Boelen holds a degree in product design from the Media and Design Academy (now the LUCA School of Arts) in Genk, Belgium.
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