Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design

29.09.2018 – 10.03.2019

Vitra Design Museum

The designer, author, and design activist Victor J. Papanek (1923–1998) anticipated an understanding of design as a tool for political change and social good that is more relevant today than ever. His seminal book »Design for the Real World« (1971) became a manifesto of design activism and remains one of the most widely read books on design ever published. The Vitra Design Museum now presents the first Papanek retrospective worldwide. Alongside numerous objects, films, and graphics never before shown in an exhibition, »Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design« also features works by contemporaries like George Nelson, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, and the radical design group Global Tools. It examines Papanek’s preoccupation with the socially excluded, his commitment to the interests of areas then called the »Third World«, as well as his attention to ecology, bionics, sustainability, and anti-consumerism. Contemporary works from the fields of critical and social design complement the historical references, showing just how influential Papanek’s legacy has become today.

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum in collaboration with the Victor J. Papanek Foundation, University of Applied Arts Vienna

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Image:
Victor J. Papanek, ‘The minimal design team’,
section from Big Character Poster No. 1: Work Chart for Designers, [1969] (1973),
© University of Applied Arts Vienna, Victor J. Papanek Foundation

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design