Once again this year the University of Applied Arts is happy to be able to provide the setting for a multi-disciplinary and critical discourse under the title DESIGN 07 – THE MIDDLE. Experts from various areas of theory and practice will talk about for a day and a half design and the middle. The format of the conference - which is based on dialogues rather than lectures - will ensure a lively, intense and exciting exchange of ideas.

DESIGN 07 aims at concentrating the design discourse and expanding the term “design”. As contemporary and historical practice design raises social, cultural, economic, ecological and aesthetic questions. Accordingly DESIGN 07 will bring together experts from very different areas such as studio work, training and education, development and production, collecting and exhibiting, design theory, business and the media.

This year’s focal theme The Middle will be examined from different viewpoints: as the middle or mean of society for example, the average consumer who, given the growing concentration in the consumer goods industry is gradually disappearing, which naturally has an impact on the area of product design. But the middle can also be discussed as a point or an area between two extremes. It lies between modesty and luxury, short-lived and long-lasting, oblivion and hype, understatement and trash. Whereas few are enthusiastic about mediocrity, the middle is interpreted positively in terms such as the golden mean, a symbol of balance and harmony. Could the “timeless design” so often referred to these days perhaps be a design of the golden mean, uninfluenced by trends and fashions?

In geographical terms, too, the middle provides interesting impulses as the crystallisation point for discussions. Here we are thinking for example of the move of production centres and design competence to the “Middle Kingdom” or current developments in the cultural area of Central Europe.

These aspects and others that circle around the middle will be discussed in the framework of the conference and should lead to a stimulating design debate.

For a day-and-a-half the University of Applied Arts will become a centre point, we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Gerald Bast

Tulga Beyerle, Thomas Geisler, Lilli Hollein

Plakat Design 07