The Biennial of Design in Ljubljana unveils the results of a six-month-long collaborative process
On Thursday, 18 September 2014, more than 120 designers and multidisciplinary agents descend upon Ljubljana for the opening week of BIO 50, the Biennial of Design. Over the course of four days, they will unveil the results of a six-month long collaborative process, offering perspectives on possible futures for design. The awards for best collaboration will be presented by the BIO 50 jury comprising industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer and professor Saša J. Mächtig. Before the opening, the talk with Alice Rawsthorn, Justin McGuirk and Jan Boelen will be organized.
Brought together by the experimental framework that shaped BIO 50, eleven groups tackled the themes of Affordable Living, Knowing Food, Public Water Public Space, Walking the City, Hidden Crafts, The Fashion System, Hacking Households, Nanotourism, Engine Blocks, Observing Space and Designing Life, creating specific projects to be implemented during the Biennial and beyond.
Following a period of intense research, where collaboration and learning were fundamental values, the outcomes are widely diverse, ranging from a series of household appliances developed under the same principles that shape open-source software to a garden pavilion developed with the local residents to encourage new discussions about food. Other outcomes include a performative experiment that challenges the way one experiences walking in the city, as well as a multipurpose engine that doubles as a survival tool in a dystopian vision of the future.
“The opening week of BIO 50 will be the culmination of a long term process, which started about a year ago with the activation of local and international agents, when all those involved will descend upon Ljubljana,” said BIO 50 chief curator Jan Boelen. “Other than the presentation of the team’s process and projects, which will offer insights into possible futures for the design discipline, there will be a strong focus on creating connections with the city at all levels. From a series of debates aiming to create a local design policy to events happening all over the city, just the mere presence of the many, many agents that took part in BIO 50 will create a very particular dynamic in Ljubljana during the opening week.”
Founded in 1964, BIO was the first design biennial in Europe. In 2014, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, it undertakes an ambitious transformation, from a traditional industrial design competition into a six-month collaborative process. In its experimental approach and ambitious goals, this edition of the Biennial becomes a case study for what design and design events can be in the contemporary world.
BIO 50 is shaped by the exhibition 3, 2, 1 TEST, which presents the process and projects developed by each of the groups. It is further enhanced by the retrospective exhibition The Biennial of (Industrial) Design over 50 Years, and complemented by BIO 50: NOW, a lively program of side events.
OPENING OF BIO 50: 3, 2, 1… TEST AND AWARD CEREMONY FOR BEST COLLABORATION: Thursday, 18 September 2014, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana