Once again, it’s time to talk about design and ethics. And it’s time to bring philosophers, researchers, entrepreneurs and designers together at the UnConference on Design & Ethics. The setting for the conference will be experimental; there is no stage, instead various tables facilitate a direct dialogue between the experts and the public. We want to move away from consumption-oriented conferences and towards a circular knowledge exchange, which enables the sharing of experiences and creates new perspectives.
The conference setup suits the topic. After all, it is about nothing less than our shared responsibility for design ethics, which can counter social, economical and ecological challenges. If we expand on Dutch philosopher Henk Oosterling’s argument that in our non-circular economy everything we design ends up as trash, then the conference is about nothing less than the future of our planet – and the role of design services.
The international expert group event promises to give interesting insights into the discourse and will also highlight cultural differences between the participants from various countries. Henk Oosterling from the Netherlands, French political scientist Ulrike Beate Guérot, the German philosophy professors Wilhelm Vossenkuhl and Ruth Hagengruber, the Dutch designer and entrepreneur Matthijs van Dijk as well as textile designer Sophie Krier from the Netherlands will discuss with the audience. “Thinkers” and “doers” will challenge each other.
The concept for this event was developed in cooperation with this year’s MCBW partner country, the Netherlands. Dutch design is well known for its outstanding creativity as well as its unlimited joy for innovation and experimentation. Again and again, Dutch designers explore the limits of their own areas of expertise and enter into interdisciplinary collaborations. The conference offers the opportunity to experience this interdisciplinarity up close and live.
“Solving today’s problems does not automatically mean that we have found relevant solutions for the future”, says designer Matthijs van Dijk. We cannot expect that the challenges regarding the complex topic “Design & Ethics” can be solved in a single afternoon. However, how often do you get the chance to gain so much knowledge by talking to international speakers and develop new insights together?