Designing Everyday Experience - Objects, Environments, Habits
International conference endorsed by Cumulus Association
Keynote Speakers: Michalle Gal (Shenkar College), Ben Highmore (University of Sussex) and Yuriko Saito (Rhode Island School of Design)
In 1952, the Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers used the motto “from the spoon to the city” to express the pervasiveness of architectural design, spanning from the very small scale of everyday tools to the much larger scale of urban spaces and environments. Inspired by this famous motto and its symbolic value, the conference aims to extend the notion of design to the whole realm of our everyday life, encompassing the various objects, spaces, and practices of our everydayness, and questioning how these may contribute to shaping our habits, tastes, behaviours, and lifestyles. Just as we design the tools that help us in the various tasks of our daily lives, so we design public and private places in the city to be used by the locals and enjoyed by the visitors. Similarly, in contemporary art, artists design, set up, and install spaces so that they yield a certain aesthetic experience for the visitor. In all these instances, more than as a profession with specific rules and know-how, design is understood as an act of planning and shaping that can apply to any object of our daily experience.
On this basis, the conference draws on three specific axes of design:
Objects and Tools.
This most traditional notion of design has to do with the creation of functional as well as purely aesthetic artefacts, such as works of art and decorative items. Objects and tools are either understood as physical or digital entities, including those that are either permanent or temporary.
Environments and Spaces.
In this second sense, design relates to a variety of activities ranging from architecture, urbanism, and environmental planning – not excluding virtual environments – to the practices of renovating and repurposing spaces, reconfiguring locations for purposes of tourism, exploiting lands for real estate speculation interest, or occupying areas for growing social cohesion, ecological improvements, and environmental art.
Habits and Practices.
Design refers here to how we shape our lives to achieve certain goals: the routines and habits we develop in everyday life and how they help determine our identity and our relationship to the world.
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