Papanek and the Politics of Design

News - 03 December 2020 - Communication

At IDE, we design for our future: a world that is better than the one in which we live today. We might specialise in different areas — sustainability, mobility and health, to name a few — but are unified by a humanistic approach. It’s no surprise, then, that many of us are familiar with the work of pioneering design activist Victor Papanek, whose life and work are celebrated in a new exhibition at Design Museum Den Bosch.

In his landmark publication Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change (1970), Papanek advocated for people over profit, demonstrating how design can bring about meaningful social change. His work has resonated with designers ever since — including those at IDE. Some lucky alumni may remember attending his guest lectures in the 70s and 90s. Papanek’s vision has now returned to the Netherlands at Design Museum Den Bosch. A new exhibition, entitled Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design, presents the first major retrospective of his life and work, showing how Papanek’s practice evolved during his lifetime and manifests in modern-day design. Running until February 2021, the exhibition is a must for any socially conscious designer.

For tickets and more information, visit the Den Bosch website here.