GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your homeBy Design Academy Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week 2018
On the occasion of Dutch Design Week 2018, and within the framework of its ongoing collaboration with Van Abbemuseum, Design Academy Eindhoven presents the first prototype of a new design research initiative titled GEO-DESIGN. GEO-DESIGN approaches design from an investigative perspective, proposing a new format of research into the social, economic, geographical and geopolitical forces shaping the work of designers today. It traces the global flows of production and consumption, scanning online news portals, voices from global productive markets, stories from different geographies, interpreting them as starting points for design researches to be developed remotely or in the field.
The first episode of GEO-DESIGN seeks to trace the nebulous outlines of a company called Alibaba, possibly best known as the world’s largest virtual shopping mall. In reality Alibaba is more than just a “company”: it is at once an online platform, a chat system, a financial institution, a social network, a cloud service, a wallet, an innovation center, an educational provider, an e-commerce giant, and an almost indescribably vast logistics network that links cities, ports and factory villages across the world. Whether we recognize it or not, it is an inescapable influence on every stage of the design process today.
Starting in August, 9 multidisciplinary design researchers were invited to choose one specific aspect of interest from the given context, which would bring them to travel in the multi-faced meanings of the today design discipline. Borrowing techniques and languages from journalism, filmmaking, scenography, interaction design and other relevant disciplines, they selected, observed, collected and brought together stories, characters, places and voices into the format of a final exhibition: Alibaba. From here to home. The exhibition takes form in between the rooms of the Van Abbemuseum, officially opening its doors to the DDW public on the 20th of October 2018.
GEO-DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home is curated by Joseph Grima and Martina Muzi, and presents the work of Arvid&Marie, Maxime Benvenuto, Allison Crank, Leif Czakai & Timm Donke, Jing He, Isabel Mager, Martina Muzi, Irene Stracuzzi, Alice Wong.