Not only is that the time when two important conferences — the World Congress of Architecture and the Changing the Change conference — will take place, but there is also an impressive series of events planned, organised by the local Order of Architects under the banner “Off Congress“.
Nearly 40 exhibitions are bound to open in the weeks to come. Many of those are organised by Turin based institutions, including a series of blockbuster shows on Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli, the architects who were responsible for the Baroque Turin; a preview of the Carlo Mollino mountain refuge project; an exhibition with more than 200 objects from the private collection of Alexander von Vegesack, founder and director of the Vitra Design Museum; several pavillions that are thematically linked to the World Congress; an exhibition in a spectacular 19th Century location about the physical, social and economic changes Turin has undergone from the 1980s to date; and a VR installation permitting renewed enjoyment of the Poème électronique, a unique experience conceived by Le Corbusier for the Philips pavilion at the International Exhibition in Brussels in 1958.
Also foreign institutions have grasped the opportunity offered by the World Congress of Architecture to organise exhibitions in Turin, such as the Tsinghua University Architecture School in China, the BDA Galerie Berlin, the Japan Institute of Architects, the Moscow Contemporary Architecture Center, the Bundesarchitektenkammer (BAK) of Germany, the Slovak Architects Association, the World Architecture Community (with a focus on Turkey), the Union of Mediterranean Architects, the Association pour la Recherche sur la Ville et l’Habitat, and the Empresa Municipal Vivienda y suelo of Madrid, Spain.
Turin’s contemporary art galleries (and there are many) have planned special shows, featuring artists such as Michael Beutler, Peter Halley, Donna Conlon, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Karim Rashid.
And there are a great number of events, from theatre to parties, from book presentations, to mini-conferences, and of course there is also The Starchitecture Night.
The list of invited speakers and discussants features Bill Moggridge (IDEO); Geetha Narayanan (Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, India); Lou Yongqi (Tongji University, China); Mugendi M. Rithaa (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa); Aguinaldo dos Santos (Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil); Fumi Masuda (designer, Japan), Chris Ryan (University of Melbourne, Australia); Luisa Collina (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy); Josephine Green (Philips Design); Roberto Bartholo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Anna Meroni (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy), Luigi Bistagnino (Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy); Nigel Cross (The Open University, UK); Victor Margolin (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA); and Ken Friedman (Danmarks Designskole, Denmark)
No less than 163 abstracts have been accepted, including our own. Take a look at the titles and the presenters to get an idea of the variety on offer, all within the wider theme of design for sustainability, or read a reflection on the selection by conference chair Ezio Manzini.
The topics sound great and I will enjoy attending, but I have to point out that the large majority of the papers come from academic institutions. In fact, there are only a handful of major companies (Intel and Philips) and design consultancies (such as Experientia) involved.
This is something bound to be different at another major international conference scheduled in Turin, Italy, the UPA Europe 2008 conference, taking place in December. Conference co-chair (and my business partner) Michele Visciola told me that many major international companies have submitted papers for this conference with the theme “usability and design: cultivating diversity”. More is to follow soon.
The conference will be held in Torino, Italy, 10 to 12 July 2008, in the framework of Torino World Design Capital, 2008.
The conference blog is becoming a rich platform for discussion on the topic and I recommend you to explore it.
Changing the Change seeks to make a significant contribution to a necessary transformation toward a sustainable future. It specifically intends to outline state-of-the-art of design research in terms of visions, proposals and tools with which design can actively and positively take part in the wider social learning process that will have to take place.
“It’s a design research conference with a focus more on results than on methodology” Manzini tells John Thackara, “with an emphasis on what design research can do for sustainability”
At the heart of the conference design researchers will present concrete and documentable research results. This will be complemented by invited keynote speaker’s presentations that will help paint a clearer picture of the common ground from which the conference will take off.
Changing the Change is organised by the Co-ordination of Italian Design Research Doctorates and has a broad International Advisory Committee: Roberto Bartholo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Luigi Bistagnino (Politecnico di Torino), Luisa Collina (Politecnico di Milano), Rachel Cooper (University of Lancaster), Jorge Frascara (University of Alberta), Victor Margolin (University of Illinois at Chicago), Stefano Marzano (Philips Design), Fumi Masuda (Tokyo Zokei University), Bill Moggridge (IDEO), Mugendi M’Rithaa (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), Geetha Narayanan (Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology), Gunter Pauli (Zeri), Yrjö Sotamaa (University of Art and Design Helsinki), Lou Yongqi (Tongji University).