29 March until 27 October 2019
Social Design

Cities with high quality of life, initiatives for integrating refugees, a loom for business start-ups, a solar kiosk for local power supply: Social Design is design for society and with society. Starting 29 March 2019, the exhibition Social Design at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will present 25 international projects in the fields of urban space and landscape, housing/education/work, production, migration, networks, and the environment. The designs here range from new infrastructures and ways for inhabitants to reclaim their cities to do-it-yourself housing and a filter supplying clean water. They demonstrate just a small selection from the broad panorama of activities that fall under the term Social Design, helping us to understand how design, a term heard everywhere these days and yet not clearly defined, can serve a variety of purposes.

The consequences of the global growth-based economy are becoming more and more critical for humans and the environment. Social Design confronts the increasing imbalances in terms of resources, the means of production, and future prospects by fostering participation and dialogue on equal footing between individuals, civil society, government, and business. It is about emancipating all those involved so they can enjoy greater freedom, community, and justice. As in previous times of crisis, the focus today is on developing an open-minded social culture and redesigning social systems and living and working environments to improve the lives of people throughout the world. Against this backdrop, architects, designers, artisans, and engineers are hard at work developing innovative solutions. The criteria they apply include the social and design qualities of a project, the transparency of the associated process, and the possibility of opening a dialogue with and encouraging the participation of those involved, thus empowering them to build their own livelihoods while transforming social conditions and ensuring sustainability. The exhibition will in addition provide a forum for visitors to contribute their own knowledge, opinions, and ideas.

"Social Design" is an exhibition organized for the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich by its curator Angeli Sachs. The exhibition in Hamburg is supported by the Ernst August Bester Foundation, the Hans Brökel Foundation for Science and Culture and the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.. The show was adapted in collaboration with the Studio Experimentelles Design of the Hochschule für bildende Kunst Hamburg.

Abb.: Architectural office Graft, Solar Kiosk, since 2009, Graft/Lars, Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, Thomas Willemeit with Andreas Spiess, © Andreas Spies, SOLARKIOSK AG