September 11, 2020 - Design Society - 2020 Curating Design Plan Design (Re-)union
e-flux Architecture
September 11, 2020
September 11, 2020

Design Society

2020 Curating Design PlanDesign (Re-)union, open call for curators till 1 November, 2020

2020 Curating Design Plan Design (Re-)union
Open call for design curators

Application deadline: November 1, 2020

Initiated by Design Society and funded by Shenzhen Chuangxiang Public Welfare Foundation (referred to as "C Foundation"), the 2020 Curating Design Plan launches an open-call for curatorial proposals, with the submission deadline of November 1, 2020. Its jury will select one Design Society Curator Award and three Design Society Research Fellows from the submissions. The winning proposal will be developed into an exhibition and presented in the Park View Gallery of the Sea World Culture and Arts Center for three months. The three Design Society Research Fellows will be awarded research grants.

Since its opening in 2017, as China's first comprehensive cultural platform with design as its theme, Design Society has continuously broken the barriers of the design industry. In doing so, we have been trying to expand the definition of design, to build the relevance of design development for society and culture, and to popularize design thinking and leadership.

The Curating Design Plan is a program dedicated to supporting creative talents. Jointly initiated by Design Society and C Foundation in 2020, this edition marks the project’s inaugural event. Each year, we will hold an open call for proposals and set up a jury committee, who on behalf of Design Society will shortlist the most promising proposals, and support their further development through thematic workshops. The three most outstanding proposals will each be awarded with 30,000 RMB in research funding. In the last phase of selection, mentors from the jury will be assigned to guide the three selected proposals in refining their submissions, after which one final winning proposal will receive an extra 300,000 RMB and will be developed into an exhibition presented at the Park View Gallery in the Sea World Culture and Arts Center.

As an ever evolving discipline, the definition of design is in a constant flux. It has long since expanded from the creation of objects with aesthetic and functional value, to a tool and a way of thinking used to identify and to solve problems. Its nature is closely connected to reality, and it is gradually manifesting itself as an aspect of critical thinking in the process of solving and analyzing problems. Over the past three years, Design Society has actively investigated and contested the values of design through exhibitions and public programs, identifying three key aspects of value proposition today:

Responding to the urgencies of our time. Design carries a wider mission in society, responding to ever-expanding social issues and needs such as cultural and technological development, rural and urban diversification, and cultural and environmental sustainability. Design also has the potential to unfold the complexity of above social issues and help us understand the increasingly intricate times we live in. It is able to further expand this dialogue among the public through the medium of exhibition.

Generating new curatorial knowledge. In order to create a design, one must reference complex systems such as the labor, production and circulation that constitute our understanding of a design, both as concept and as product. Through interrogating and researching these stereotypical systems, design can help us reflect critically on our relationship with objects, presenting a new perspective and generating new knowledge and ideas.

Positioning design in cultural, historical, and artistic momentum, while contextualizing it in a broader discussion. As a form of creative practice, our understanding towards design should go beyond design as a commodity. Instead, we should experience it as an integrated part of an interconnected web of culture.

2020 Curating Design Plan: Design (Re-)union
With the theme of Design  (Re-)union, The Curating Design Plan aims to support designers and curators in seeing the values of design beyond the surface; to speak through the medium of exhibition to share their keen insight, imagination, methods and actions; to rebuild connections and lead the public to grasp new solutions; and to open new critical dialogues.

Jury members:
Ole Bouman, Founding Director of Design Society 
Bryony Shepherd, Head of Interpretation, Victoria and Albert Museum
Hang Jian, Professor and the Director of Museums at the China Academy of Art 
Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of MAXXI (National Museum for 21st Century Art and National Museum of Architecture), Rome, Italy
Joseph Grima, Creative Director of Design Academy Eindhoven and Chief Curator of Design at Triennale di Milano
Song Xiewei, Professor and PhD Academic Supervisor of School of Design at Central Academy of Fine Arts
Tong Lan, Board Member of C Foundation
Marisa Yiu, Co-founder and Executive Director of Design Trust

How to submit
Please submit the materials (Curator or Curatorial Team Introduction and Curatorial Proposal) with the subject name: Name+2020 Curating Design Plan to info [​at​]

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