Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?
The XXI International Exhibition of the Triennale di Milano, The 21st Century. Design After Design, presentation of the Republic of Croatia
National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci / Cavallerizze
2 April – 12 September 2016
Speculative design is a critical design practice that comprises or is in relation to a number of similar practices, such as critical design, design fiction, design futures, anti-design, radical design, interrogative design, discursive design, adversarial design and so on. The focus is on a discursive activity founded in critical thinking and dialogue which questions design practice. The basic reference of the speculative (and critical) design practice is primarily the radical Italian architecture and design practice in the 1960s and 1970s. The founding principles of the radical approach, resistance to modernism and technological domination, focus on social topics, re-thinking of the profession, very often through a political prism as well, today figure as the main characteristics of speculative and critical practices.
Recent examples of the speculative design practice are still very rare in the Croatian context. Also, it is hard to find a strong historical reference or the continuity of such practice in the local context. Therefore, the objective of this exhibition is to showcase and contextualize in one place all relevant contemporary speculative works in Croatia that, although often named differently, fall under the category of the speculative design. A common characteristic to all those works is the fact that there is no specific or distinctive approach to the speculative practice in Croatia but rather, the speculative practice reflects global influences. Thus, this (although) Croatian selection may be perceived primarily as an overview of various global speculative practices (through various disciplines, schools, methods, topics and so on).
Through its imagination and radical approach, by using design as a medium, speculative design forces one to think – raises awareness, questions, provokes action, initiates discussions and perhaps even offers some alternatives that are essential for the today’s world. However, it remains to be seen whether the speculative practice has the potential to become the new, post-design practice, “the design after the design” or yet another utopia and historical reference.
In order to expand the exhibition, we tried to answer the question through a series of interviews with the authors of the presented works together with the prominent international practitioners in the filed of speculative design. We have also incorporated a discoursive view of the eminent experts in the field of speculative (and general contemporary) design practice.
Ivica Mitrović & Oleg Šuran
Exhibition equipment design
Filip Havranek & Kristina Lugonja ( Havranek+Lugonja )
Lina Kovačević, Robert Čanak, Anselmo Tumpić, Nikola Bojić, Damir Prizmić, Ivica Mitrović, Oleg Šuran, Andreja Kulunčić (co-authored with: Gabriel Sabol, Matija Pužar, Trudy Lane, Ivo Martinović), Nina Bačun, Anders Mellbrat, Silvio Vujičić
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia & Croatian Designers Association
Mirjana Jakušić, Iva Mostarčić & Nevena Tudor Perković
Mirna Herman Baletić & Leo Štedul (Jezični laboratorij d.o.o.)
respective authors & Robert Sošić, Ivo Martinović, Glorija Lizde, Darko Škrobonja, kontejner.org, Vicko Vidan