Conflict & Design 7th Design Triennial in Flanders
Henri Esserslaan 1, Koolmijn Winterslag, 3600 Genk, Belgium, Genk, Belgium
The 7th Design Triennial in Flanders 2013 is an investigation into the social relevance of design and the responsibility of designers in our society. This Triennial will present more than sixty design concepts, processes, projects and objects that make use of the relatively new methods and ways of thinking prevalent in the design sector today. These include user-centred design, social design, participation design, process design, sustainable design, ethical design, etc. A conflict itself, just like an incident, is seldom or never viewed as something positive. However, conflict appears to be a necessary driving force for innovation; it is a fundamental element in the way in which mankind continues to evolve. The designers selected for this triennial play an extremely important role in this process; their starting point is observation. The emphasis is on the way in which a successful design offers a solution to the conflict, based on observation and participation. In other words, not innovation for the sake of innovation, but rather design with a clear social-societal objective: creating a better living, social and working climate. Conflict itself is a concept that is difficult to describe. For this triennial, we started with a survey among the designers themselves about what conflict means to them and how their work relates to it. Their work can be considered essential when reflecting on how, in the (near) future, we will be obliged to interact with each other and manage our natural resources in fundamentally different ways. For these designers, conflict is a starting point for thinking about our society and affords the design process substance and meaning.