Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design opens in Barcelona, Spain

October 30, 2019

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design.
Design Museum of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

31 October 2019 – 02 February 2020

The exhibition Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design is the first big retrospective on the designer, author and activist Victor J. Papanek (1923-1998).

What role should design and designers play in the contemporary world in order to be truly useful to society? This question has been the focus of widespread debate in recent decades and a reflection made by Victor Papanek over fifty years ago as a pioneer of contemporary design and one of the most influential harbingers of social activism and sustainability in the field. The ideas and questions addressed by Papanek in the 1960s remain extremely relevant for design and constitute the essence of critical, social, inclusive and interdisciplinary design.

This exhibition explores Papanek’s life and works through an extensive series of original, evocative pieces from the archive of the Victor Papanek Foundation and some objects from some of his contemporaries such as Buckminster Fuller and the radical group Global Tools, among others. Papanek’s ideas and their lasting impact can also be found in the 21st century in projects by various international designers and artists.

Made possible by the generous contributions from the  Norman Foster Foundation, the exhibitions include a selection of works by Norman Foster and Buckminster Fuller. This exhibition is a cooperation between the Barcelona Design Museum and the Vitra Design Museum, in collaboration with the Victor J. Papanek Foundation, the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Norman Foster Foundation.