Open Call: The Fashion System

BIO 50 24th Biennial of Design – Ljubljana, Slovenia

Open Call, 13 February 2014
The Fashion System
From textile production to retail, merchandising and all the stages in-between, the means by which we clothe ourselves are complex and multi-layered. Tradition and technology are part of the fashion industry, while links between designers, producers and consumers introduce new dynamics into the fashion system. Questioning the institution of fashion and its many facets, this team will seek to understand the human position within the machine that clothes us.

 

Reaction, 27 August 2014
Matter Loci x Matter Globalis
Matter Loci x Matter Globalis (ML x MG) is a fashion lab, a traveling exhibition and a living open archive. Through an open call, we asked local makers to produce a series of garments that explore and present local resources − in term of materials, creativity and production. The first open call focused on Slovenian wool as rare local material.
The resulting archive documents both the products and processes involved in their realization. From amateur to professional, local traditions to global experimentation, ML x MG grows through the contributions of participants in the fashion system. ML x MG aims to generate new perspectives and real alternatives to the delocalized, contemporary system of fashion production and consumption.

 

From Jury Report:
At a time of growing interest in folkloric and craft traditions, Fashion System is an intelligent and engaging approach to raising awareness of a neglected Slovenian resource.

Quite international members of Fashion system team are planning to challenge the mindset where everything from abroad is more valued than materials and design produced locally.

Team Mentors

 

Tina Hočevar
Architect and designer, initiator of the Paul Malina project.

 

Eugenia Morpurgo
Designer, author of the Repair It Yourself (RIY) and footMade projects.

 

Evan Frenkel
Student at Design Academy Eindhoven, researcher of open and active clothing manufacturing systems.

 

Partners

 

Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana
www.ntf.uni-lj.si

 

Nataša Peršuh, SQUAT, Ljubljana
www.squat.si

 

Team Members

 

Olivia de Gouveia
Tanja Pađan
Elena Fajt
Clara Vankerschaver
Nina Mlakar
Linda Ogrizek
Martina Obid
Tijana Todorovič
Tjaša Avsec
Nataša Kovač
Katarina Dovč
Nika Ravnik
pH15 (Lucija Jankovec, Nika Batista,
Katja Grčman, Maruša Kranjc,
Karmen Sedeljšak, Ana Jazbec, Elena Fajt)

Award for Best Collaboration

 

The outcomes of each team’s work in an exhibition will be review by the international jury comprising industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer and professor Saša J. Mächtig. The jury will grant an Award for Best Collaboration at the opening of the Biennial.

 

Jury

 

Konstantin Grcic
Konstantin Grcic is an industrial designer and founder of Munich-based Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID), where he has developed furniture, products and lighting for some of the leading companies in the design field. Many of his products have received international design awards such as the Compasso d`Oro for his Mayday lamp (Flos) in 2001 and the Myto chair (Plank) in 2011. His works are integrated in the permanent collections of the world´s most important design museums, such as the MoMA and the Centre Georges Pompidou. Grcic has also curated exhibitions for The Serpentine Gallery, the St.Etienne Design Biennale, and Rome’s Istituto Svizzero.

 

Alice Rawsthorn
Alice Rawsthorn is an internationally renowned design commentator, whose columns for the International New York Times are syndicated to other media worldwide. Her latest book, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, explores design’s influence on our lives: past, present and future. Rawsthorn has spoken on design at important international events including the World Economic Forum in Davos. Based in London, she is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and the dance group Michael Clark Company, as well as chair of trustees at Chisenhale Gallery.

 

Saša J. Mächtig
Saša J. Mächtig is a luminary of Slovenian industrial design. One of the founders of the Design Department at Ljubljana’s Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, he was awarded the title Professor Emeritus by the University of Ljubljana for his contribution to the development of the discipline. In his multiple roles as a professor, designer and architect he headed numerous interdisciplinary groups for the development of new products and systems. Mächtig was also active in the international sphere, particularly in executive boards of professional associations. Amongst his achievements is the organisation of the 17th ICSID world congress in Ljubljana in 1992.

BIO50 Organisation

 

The Biennial of Design is organised by MAO, Slovenia’s national Museum of Architecture and Design. MAO preserves and archives works from prominent architects and designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, constituting a rich history of creative ideas, vision and production. MAO organizes and shares this seemingly unlimited source of inspiration and exploration of architecture and design through its many compelling exhibitions, publications and diverse programmes. In this unique environment where past, present and a desire to discover the new come together, MAO serves as a dynamic forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and dialogue for and among a wide range of visitors.

BIO50 Director’s introduction

 

Everyday life, we all know, is filled with trivialities. Yet on the other hand it also hides a lot of unknown and interesting things. Through everday life we question modern world as a split totality: of work, free time, communications, traffic, food production, science, institutions, structures, established relationships, etc. A radical change is therefore possible only through understanding of everyday life and changes of everyday habits. In other words, in order to change the world we have to change everyday life.

 

Fifty years ago, it was the changes in everyday life that led to the foundation of the Biennial of Industrial Design. The driving force behind BIO’s foundation was the ambition to establish design as an integral part of the industrial production of objects for a better everyday life. At the first edition of the biennial, architect Marjan Tepina called industrial design an indispensable discipline of the socialist social order and designing objects for a better everyday life thus became a part of the (socialist) modernization project. For the next fifty years, BIO exhibitions tried to present the best in design and the best in industrial production.

 

With international selection, comparison and evaluation of exhibits, BIO strived to highlight the outstanding within the average. Early on in its history, there were also discussions on what BIO should be, as well as calls for a more direct approach to questions on the role of design in society (BIO 5, BIO 7). New industrial products helped make life more comfortable, but it soon became clear there is also a downside to industrial production and consumerism. Can life really be made better with more new, albeit well-designed consumer products – the question appeared, so to speak, of its own accord.

 

If the Biennial of Industrial Design started and for the past fifty years practiced criticism of the trivial by presenting the outstanding, then BIO 50 is its exact opposite. By utilizing the trivial and the reality, it is criticism of the outstanding and the elite. At the same time, BIO 50 is an attempt to look for and find the outstanding within the routine everyday life. Being critical of the ever increasing number of design festivals, the curator Jan Boelen transformed BIO into a production platform. Its framework is collaboration.

 

The process, which took place at the BIO 50, revealed rich and underutilized potential of collective creative work. At the same time it also reminded us of the difficulties, contradictions and problems that today undermine the desire or ability to collaborate. Behind objects of BIO 50 exhibition, there are challenging questions for the future of design. Can design be a factor, bringing split ends of modern everyday life back into a whole and breaking the isolation of individual professions and specializations? Can design progress from the production of objects and services for everyday life into the production of life itself?

 

— Matevž Čelik/MAO, Director

BIO50 Curatorial statement

 

Since its founding in 1964, the Biennial of Design (BIO) in Ljubljana has surveyed the state of contemporary design from the heart of Central Europe. Witnessing the many shifts and changes the discipline has undergone in the last 50 years, BIO has seen design transition from its birth at the crossroads of industrialization and modernism towards a discipline that permeates all layers of everyday life.

 

Ultimately, the many steps in this transition have illustrated the fragility of the discipline’s initial framework. The contemporary world is no longer a place of and for mass production and distribution; instead, design has migrated through the multi-layered networks of today towards local, specific, customizable scenarios where the designer is no longer an all-powerful creator, but an element in a network of collaboration and influence. Similarly, in a world over-saturated with products and projects, the fundamental goal of design ceases to become the production of yet another chair.

 

Today, design has become a form of enquiry, of power, and of agency. With it, the role of any event that seeks to represent and disseminate design has also fundamentally changed. On its 50th anniversary, BIO embraces this opportunity to build upon its own tradition and history, advancing into an experimental, collaborative territory where design is employed and implemented as a tool to question and transform ideas about industrial production, public and private space, and pre-established systems and networks.

 

Engaging designers and multidisciplinary agents from Slovenia and abroad, BIO 50 will create eleven teams to work on a wide and comprehensive range of topics that resonate with local and global demands. Team mentors will elaborate a brief for each category, guiding participants in the creation of one or more projects to be developed and implemented during the Biennial.

 

BIO 50 will be a complex, transformative effort that seeks to strengthen local and international design networks, search for alternatives to implemented systems where design can play a role, and create bases for resilient structures that can develop through time, beyond the duration of the Biennial.

 

— Jan Boelen/Z33

Collaborators:
Tina Hočevar
Eugenia Morpurgo
Evan Frenkel
Olivia de Gouveia
Tanja Pađan
Elena Fajt
Clara Vankerschaver
Nina Mlakar
Linda Ogrizek
Martina Obid
Tijana Todorovič
Tjaša Avsec
Nataša Kovač
Katarina Dovč
Nika Ravnik
pH15 (Lucija Jankovec, Nika Batista,
Katja Grčman, Maruša Kranjc,
Karmen Sedeljšak, Ana Jazbec, Elena Fajt)

24th Biennial of Design
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje
Pot na Fužine 2
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia

 

Duration:

18.9.2014 — 7.12.2014

 

Related projects:
Matter Loci x Matter Globalis — Open Call

Matter Loci x Matter Globalis — Material Samples

Matter Loci x Matter Globalis — Results