CHANGE BY DESIGN OR BY DISASTER — AFTER COVID-19

We are living in unpredictable times, when the climate crisis and the growing social inequality are exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. We need change. The change can be introduced by design or by a disaster. It is easy to answer, which way is more preferable. Therefore, the Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław is inviting students interested in design thinking to attend an intercultural workshop, which will take place at Oerlinghausen, Germany from 1st to 7th of August, 2020. Application deadline: July 20, 2020. Application form: here.

About the workshop


A gamechanger. This is how we can call the coronavirus pandemic, looking at the various aspects of life it has affected, including the balance of power, social behaviors, relationships and interactions. Additionally, , the pandemic is a conflict where human beings stand against an invisible opponent – the virus.

We live in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous times (VUCA), where traditional strategic planning methods become inadequate in the so-called social reality. Moreover, there is a conclusive evidence that change is necessary, because the already existing problems such as the climate crisis and the growing social inequality are exacerbated by the coronovirus pandemic. 

Nowadays, many people wonder how to animate and moderate social change on the road to sustainability. As graphic designers, we also participate in these discussions, arguing that change is possible, either by design or by a disaster.

During the workshop, we will try to answer questions about where we currently are and where we are going. We would like to develop proposals on how we want to and how we need to live in a post-pandemic era.

 


Proxemics seems to provide an interesting framework for defining an adequate area for social action and cooperation. We will try to figure out whether Edward T. Hall’s concept of “interpersonal distances” is still valid in the new reality. Do we need to redefine personal, social, and public distances? We still do not know how we will function in the new post-pandemic world. Perhaps the key question is not “Will there be a new social contract?”, but rather “How it will look like?”.

Many researchers have written about this paradigm change in design, for example: T. Brown 2012, E. Manzini 2015, D. Norman 1988, V. Papanek 1971, J. Thackara 2015.

We have three options:

  • to be passive observers of change – the outcome is unpredictability
  • to put all our efforts into returning to the pre-pandemic status quo
  • to reevaluate the current situation as an opportunity for animating and moderating social change, an opportunity to change the world by design, not by a disaster.

workshop methodology:

Step by step, we will learn the design thinking method and how to apply it to various projects. We will work in small interdisciplinary and intercultural groups. In order to stimulate creativity and imagination we will use a variety of techniques and creative tools.

The expected outcomes of the workshop include: Developing new ways of looking at and designing personal and social spaces that we will have to live with after the pandemic. Developing and delivering prototypes of proposals for potential implementation.

who should apply:

We would like to invite all young people up to 27 years of age, who are interested in intercultural communication, for example university students from Poland, Germany, and Norway, enrolled in different programs of study and areas of knowledge. We invite not only designers, but also all students interested in the world and changemaking by design, students who are motivated to take part in intercultural and interdisciplinary workshops.

The workshops will be conducted in English, German and Polish. Application deadline: July 20, 2020 Apply now »

cost and logistic: 

August 1-7, 2020
Location: Villa Welchen, Am Lehmstich 15, Oerlinghausen (villawelschen.de)

EUR 70, including workshops, accommodation, food and workshop materials

Travel costs will be reimbursed up to 60%, after the completion of the project.

contact:

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS:
Maria Chojnacka
e-mail: mchojnacka11@st.swps.edu.pl

SUBJECT-MATTER EXPERTS:
English and Polish: Mariusz Wszołek
e-mail: mwszolek@swps.edu.pl

German: Dorota Płuchowska
e-mail: dpluchowska@swps.edu.pl