Reading Sites is a series of written perspectives on the broader field of design. Taking events from design weeks to biennials as its starting point, the series invites designers, writers and critics to reflect on emerging tendencies and design ideologies, arriving at new narratives that can foster alternative, shared and non-exploitative futures.
Through essays, interviews, field notes and other formats, the series sets out to stimulate critical discourse in the design field and beyond. How do designers and other practitioners interpret the field? How should we read the increasingly fragmented sites of the big design events? What common threads are emerging, and how can the societal position of the designer be reformulated in the face of contemporary crises? Looking beyond individual authorship in the production of objects, the series proposes a collective reading of design events as a catalyst for debate on the current role of design and its social, economic and environmental implications, as well as its transformational potential.
Dutch Design Week 2019
For the first edition of Reading Sites, Het Nieuwe Instituut invited three designers and writers to ‘read’ Dutch Design Week 2019, and its various sites and projects. Combining the characteristics of a festival, a trade fair and a museum presentation, Dutch Design Week represents a diversity of developments in the field, while aiming at creating spaces for criticality. Aside from covering presentations by both formal and informal parties, each participant was invited to respond to the phenomenon of Dutch Design Week as a whole, narrating the fragmented environment and its underlying tendencies through the lens of their own interests and practice.
Upcoming editions will offer a collective reading of Salone del Mobile 2020 in Milan, and the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020. More details will follow soon.
Dutch Design Week 2019
Dutch Design Week in Three Lexicons: Nadine Botha
Writer and editor Nadine Botha examines the language of the future, the paradoxical role of the designer, and the act of institutional refusal. When will design face the past, if not now?
Design, Designs: Žan Kobal
Designer Žan Kobal describes the shift from techno-solutionist approaches towards critical, performative and post-humanist perspectives in design.