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Lecture cycle: Contemporary Design

21 October – 2 December 2016


Contemporary Design is a course of five lectures by art historian and design critic Maria Savostyanova discussing the current developments in design.

Find out about the latest design trends, most influential designers and their projects, newest technologies used by designers and unexpected contexts that can form around design objects. Topics include the clash between technology and traditional crafts, sustainable consumption and recycling, as well as the relation between art and design.


Maria Savostyanova is an art historian and design critic, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Interior+Design, and author of over 350 articles on consumer and collectible design. Convenor of the Theory and History of Culture program at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, she has been reviewing major contemporary art and design exhibitions for fifteen years.


October 21, Friday

19:30–21:00  Garage Auditorium 

Projects for the Future

Contemporary designers often try and predict how our everyday lifestyle and consumption patterns will evolve in the years to come. This lecture will introduce the visions of the future offered by Ross Lovegrove, Karim Rashid and Jean-Marie Massaud, look into a number of futuristic objects, and analyse the recent changes in designers’ work and the roles they take on.


October 28, Friday

19:30–21:00  Garage Auditorium 

Forces of Nature

Contemporary design was quick to assimilate our ecological concerns, and contribute to the concept of sustainable living. What can designers offer us? Should we place our bets on biomorphism or biotechnology? What is the dark side of the fashion for natural materials and how can recycling help? The lecture will look into the work of Frank Gehry, Wendell Castle, Piet Hein Eek and Stuart Haygarth.


November 11, Friday

19:30–21:00  Garage Education Center 

Technocraft Everywhere

One of the main trends in contemporary design brings together traditional crafts and advanced technology—hand painting and laser cutting, knitting and rapid prototyping. This lecture will discuss the results of such experiments and look into some of the most successful examples by Marcel Wanders, Studio Job, Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, Hella Jongerius and Front Design.


November 25, Friday

19:30–21:00  Garage Education Center 

Between Avant-Garde and Mainstream

Contemporary designers are always following the trends, but each of them reacts to the challenges posed by the rapidly changing environment in his or her own way. The lecture will focus on works by Dieter Rams, Philippe Starck, Marc Newson and Ron Gilad and discuss possible relations between industrial design and global trends.


December 2, Friday

19:30–21:00  Garage Auditorium 

Common Ground: Art vs. Design

Designers are often denied the status of artists, as many of us tend to separate art and design. However, these two types of creative activity often interweave or compete with each other. This lecture will look into similarities between art and design—common strategies and interdisciplinary dialogues we can trace in the works of Ron Arad, Rolf Sachs, Maarten Baas and the Haas Brothers.


how to take part

 Entrance is free, registration required.

Priority booking for GARAGE cardholders.To become a cardholder, please email

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