Climate protection, design in the face of disaster, service design - World Industrial Design Day 2010


29 June 2010

The Hungarian Design Council celebrated the world design day with a workshop discussion organised in conjunction with the Medence Csoport (Basin Group) with the theme of design and social problems. The event held in MakettLabor Gallery focussed on the various genres of design and the related issue of ecological sustainability and provided the opportunity for the four presenters, and the participants and partners, engaged in the conversation to exchange their views.

In his presentation 2°C climate protection and designDr Dániel Barcza pointed out that the so-called climate design is most needed by the developing world and those living in extreme poverty, while more than 90 % of designers make designs for the world’s richest 10 %. There are 26 million climate refugees in the world today, which underlines the importance of design creativity being encouraged in this area. If by the end of the millennium the average temperature increase will exceed 2°C (at present it is 0.7°C), an unsustainable scenario will occur. University project leader Dániel Barcza talked about some unique and feasible solutions created at experimental workshops such as the community safe floating on water and salvaging the valuables of a family, street or village in times of disaster.

Representing the Újirány Csoport (New Direction Group), Péter Pozsár spoke about design for disaster. He presented a pavilion which can be built over a short time, and, collapsed into a small and practical size, is easy to store and transported. “It is time for action, not words. Taking on responsibility is an illusion if designers engage in profit-oriented activities and only then decide to act responsibly. The two are on an equal footing,” stressed Pozsár.

Art Design – in the state of weightlessness? kicked off with the presentation of a design providing an alternative shelter for homeless people. Showing a photograph about  homeless people pushing shopping trolleys communication researcher Katalin Tímár, a curator at the Ludwig Museum, drew attention to an acute social problem. She asked if those living on the peripheries of society are being made invisible or if they themselves wish not to be seen. The researcher underlined the importance of bottom-up initiatives and a multidisciplinary approach as well as the need to coordinate social and ethical issues.

The programme of this year’s design day ended with the display of the most important works created by the Medence Csoport, an arts group active in all visual genres, in the last ten years. The group that started out as a circle of friends now work together as a professional team. Their favourite raw material is bamboo but they are also open to high-tech (glass and programmed LED lights) and make seating furniture by finding creative uses for materials, for example advertising banners discarded as hazardous waste.      

Providing a framework for the programme, the opening event was a workshop discussion launched by the Medence Csoport, marking the ten-year anniversary of their establishment with the objective of starting a dialogue about visual arts and their borderline genres.