Consuming the Social

Consuming the Social

12th May 2016

09:30 – 13:30 PM (REGISTERED ONLY)

13:30 – 05:30 PM (PUBLIC)

Design Academy Eindhoven

Witte Dame Zaal, 5th floor

Emmasingel 14, Eindhoven

Symposium by Social Design Master


Can we transform consumption from a passive behaviour into a violent act of creation?

Design is an essential mechanism to generate desire for both the consumer object and the act of consumption itself. Can designers manipulate demand to produce alternative perspectives on consumption?

In this symposium, we position design as the inherently political creation of possible futures. We will investigate how consumption designs our environment and discuss how to balance the ethical urgency of our social contract with our affinity for playful invention and interaction.

Our guests will co-create the event alongside experts in the field of consumption, feeding debate and provoking reactions. Using space as a stage to express opinions, we will not simply consume but actively produce and exchange information.


Alastair Fuad-Luke


Re-making worlds through design actions

Alastair Fuad-Luke is a sustainable design facilitator, educator and writer who sees design as a form of political activism. He explores design approaches based on openness, sharing and co-design / creation / production / consumption. He is a professor at the University of Aveiro, Portugal and the author of the books Agents of Alternatives, Design Activism, and The Eco-Design Handbook.

Frank Trentmann


How the consumer revolution came home

Frank Trentmann is a researcher on topics of consumption, materiality, energy and daily life. He is a Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His new book Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First (Penguin / Allen Lane 2016) explores how consumption has transformed our social and material environment and products over the past centuries.

Conway and Young


Designing counterpoints

Conway and Young engage critically with subjects including gender, consumerism, private and public space. Graphic design is used as a tool to highlight and question power imbalances, to activate space for exchange, reflection and reimagining.
Jen Conway and Jessy Young recently presented the project Women Pay Less in Liverpool, examining the 19.1% pay gap between men and women. They both lecture in design at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Martina Muzi and Marco Petroni


Design is the belief in possible futures

Martina Muzi is a designer and researcher.
Her multidisciplinary practice develops between the domestic and private realms, the physical and the virtual, the formal and the institutional, investigating how social relations are embedded in or affect architecture and design. Since 2014, she is part of the architectural and design research studio, Space Caviar.

Marco Petroni is a design theorist and critic who develops innovative curatorial projects and events related to the design world themes with a transdisciplinary approach. He is a urator, writer and lecturer, who teaches Contemporary Art History at Abadir (Catania) and lectures History of Applied Arts, History of Contemporary Design, Fashion and Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts (Naples).

Since 2013 Martina and Marco are in contact for bridging theory to multidisciplinary design practice. Their common ground is based on the research of new ideas on labour in the design field.


MORNING (registered only)
09:30 – 10:10 arrival, coffee, welcoming
10:10 – 11:10 1st discussion round
11:10 – 11:30 coffee break
11:30 – 12:30 2nd discussion round
12:30 – 13:30 lunchbreak

AFTERNOON (public)
13:30 – 13:50 welcoming of public guests
13:50 – 14:20 Frank Trentmann
14:20 – 14:50 Alastair Fuad-Luke
14:50 – 15:05 coffee break
15:05 – 15:35 Marco Petroni & Martina Muzi
15:35 – 16:05 Conway & Young
16:15 – round up

Social Design Master Department

The Social Design master program responds to the changes in our social, economic and governmental systems with a critical attitude.

We formulate new scenarios, models, strategies and products that can develop and transform society, reflect on existing values, create new relations between people and the world surrounding us.