In case the tours, receptions, coffee breaks and other interstitial moments aren´t sufficient for the sharing of thoughts arising from the conference, you may like to leave these by making your comments on this blog.
So today got off to a flying start. After the formalities of welcoming delegates the floor was given to Henk Oosterling for his provocative and compelling keynote lecture. Entitled ´Designature´, his lecture took us from the early design activist-theorists (Morris, Van de Velde, Wagner) to contemporary thinking on relationality. He urged for radical medi@crity which I take to be an engagement within the interconnectedness of technology and culture rather than a flight from these. Designers are rooted in media and are also implicated into interspaces, he argued. So, if you can´t get out of it, get into it!
Ultimately, Henk argued, it is in public space that the design activist can work. But he presented an expanded notion of public space, arguing that — contrary to the notion of the privatisation of public space — private spaces are a lot more public than we at first imagine.
And then — in the generously provisioned welcome reception — Tim Putnam was toasted for his many years dedicated hard work as chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Design History. Thankyou Tim.