Spaces, objects, printed matter, images
material aspects of life and civilization
traces and documents of History
and the innumerable individual histories
visions extending to the future
within the flow of time the applied arts embody
the time of humanity
A research program
about Design as a material agent
of historical and personal memory
and utopian visions
Three points and a conclusion
In the postwar era, from 1950 to 1970, design presented a futuristic vision (evident in stylistic imagination, utopian experimentation in architecture, the visual arts, etc.), which was not proved true by history. Today’s recollection of this Design does not relate to something that actually existed, but to a future that never happened.
Contemporary Design frequently incorporates stylistic elements from the period 1950-1970, attempting a reconnection with the optimism of that era, and indirectly with the unfinished project of modernism. Thus, the past emerges in the present as a desire for change.
Design, in all its history, often embodies on the one hand visions for a better future, and on the other a special kind of nostalgia, not for the «good old times», but for the dreams characterizing certain epochs, which were never realized.
All these may form a unified research field around the utopian content of Design, as well as the idea of a second level nostalgia (post-nostalgia) that contains a criticism of «retro» attitudes, while it focuses on «something» that never existed in reality, but only in the realm of desire.
The post-nostalgia program aims to provide scope for the research, study and production of individual works around the idea of Design as a material agent of collective and personal memory, as well as of critical utopian thought. More generally, the program seeks to contribute to the study of the history and theory of Design, to promote the common ground of scientific approach and artistic work, and to advance the discussion of the role of Design in life, society and thought, especially in areas and from perspectives that are not obvious.
The duration of the program is two years (2016-2018), developing through seminar cycles and the production of individual work in any form (narrative text, essay, video, photography, drawing, illustration, typography, multimedia, digital/web deign, installation, sound/music, etc.), concluding in an exhibition/conference event (December 2018) and a special publication.
Research areas include all kinds of applied arts in the periods 1950-1970 and 2000-2016, such as graphic design, illustration, comics, photography, digital design, fashion, industrial/product design, architecture, furniture design, etc, as well as theoretical fields, such as history and theory of Design, history of cinema and television, history of technology and mass culture, critical theory, semiotics, sociology, social anthropology, psychoanalysis, etc.
The post-nostalgia program is organized by the Vakalo Art & Design College (Athens, Greece) in the context of the celebration of its 60th anniversary (1958-2018)
Participation is free, and adult person may apply by 21 October 2016. The program has a limit of 20 participants. Applicants are selected on the basis of submitted creative work and a short essay on the program topics.
Konstantinos Gounaridis, CEO Vakalo Art & Design College
Miltos Frangopoulos, art historian
George S. Vlahos, cultural historian
Coordination, Creative Direction
Vangelis Georgakopoulos, artist
Manolis Iliakis, architector/spatial designer
Vasilis Marmatakis, graphic designer
Vakalo Art & Design College
Founded in Athens, Greece, in 1958 by distinguished Greek scholars and artists, the Vakalo College was the first institute in Greece to provide higher education in Design. It currently offers BA courses in graphic, interior and digital design, and MA courses in visual communication and architectural design, in collaboration with the University of Derby (UK). The College mission is to provide a thorough and in-depth education in design, as well as to inform Greek public about the applied arts, and to raise awareness on the general importance and ubiquitous presence of Design in our lives.
Vakalo Art & Design College
26 Lamprou Katsoni St., Athens 11471, Greece