for local developments
in global contexts
GDS15 was inspiring talks and intense collaborations – and a confirmation that with our upcoming Master in Eco-Social Design we are heading in the right direction. More structured videos coming soon. Stay tuned via our blog, Facebook or Twitter.
A modified world cafe with inputs by:
fablab opendot / officine arduino ⋅ it
unibz ⋅ it/de
adam & epfl ⋅ it
Leeds College of Art / Sheffield School of Architecture ⋅ uk/it
upcycling-cooperativa sociale ⋅ it
terrainstitute ⋅ it/at
change.org/youvo.org ⋅ de
myvillages & atelier d’architecture autogeree ⋅ uk/ro/de
malmö university ⋅ se/it
The MA in Glocal Design is a forthcoming Masters Program promoting eco-social transformations and focusing on local developments and their interplay within global contexts. This two-day transdisciplinary convention seeks exchange concerning transformative action, design and research.
“Think global, act local!” seems to be more relevant than ever before. Sustainability and “green” are now mainstream rhetoric, yet coordinated global action surrounding climate change, environmental standards, and other eco-social or political issues remains elusive. Progress beyond rhetoric seems difficult to find in a world dominated by the promotion of market interests, competition, conflicts, and the inertia of old habits. The overall environmental and social impacts of products and services do not seem to be improving. The same is true for consumer behavior.
Nevertheless, promising local changes are visible in alternative practices of production, consumption and living that cause less damage to the environment and its people. There is an abundance of creativity to be observed at the local scale which gives enhanced priority to eco-social relations: foodsheds to fab labs; Community Supported Agriculture; “Offene Werkstätten”; Repair Cafés and more. In a transition from ‘Do-It-Yourself’ to ‘Do-It-Together’ – as reflected by global movements such as Open Source; Creative Commons; Open Hardware; with platforms for crowdfunding, campaigning, deliberation and more; – many courageous and creative individuals in businesses, cooperatives, civil institutions and society at large are developing socio-economic microsystems that create more with less resources. These local individuals and groups communicate and network globally, and they are finding, sharing and trading information, goods and contacts which have raised the profile of eco-social initiatives and enabled their projects to thrive. This local-global dynamic – the Glocal – is facilitated both thanks to the ‘openness’ of technologies like the Internet, and also through the ongoing development of powerful applications, platforms and initiatives.
Just as the quality of design and communication are imperative to the success of in a multi-disciplinary business context, so they are important to these multi-faceted transformations. Opposed to corporate environments in emerging eco-social ventures relations often are less hierarchical, more democratic or simply less defined. This requires both a driven entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to facilitate and organise productive outcomes whilst balancing myriad economic, social and environmental implications alongside the interests of a variety of experts and stakeholders. Design as a catalyst of change involves a multitude of factors and is undoubtedly challenging. Therefore, we have invited experts from an equally diverse array of disciplines to share their experiences and thoughts on this matter – to learn, exchange and network ahead of the 2015 launch of our MA in Glocal Design. We are looking forward to meeting and discussing these issues with you all.