Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden – Dresda (Germania)
20/07-25/08 2023

In its traditional understanding and execution, design is a discipline focused on the satisfaction of human needs and wishes. The ongoing climate emergency, however, reminds us that caring only for our species’ desires has had—and keeps having—unfortunate repercussions on the planet and the other beings that co-inhabit it with us. Changing direction is essential.

Applying a green and holistic filter to design—considering also the health and needs of the vegetal realm beside ours—can help us identify and rethink damaging practices such as monocultural production and the patenting of ancestral knowledge and nature. This effort makes more sense when we consider that design-related industries, like furniture making and fashion, rely heavily on plants’ productivity to prosper but are generally responsible for major habitat loss of both vegetal and animal communities.

In a multidisciplinary and transcultural discourse and research environment, this year’s Design Campus Summer School challenges the dualism of human vs. nature rooted in Western society and invites collaborative critical and utopian thinking.

In close dialogue with the research exhibition Plant Fever: Towards a phyto-centred design and the collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), this year the Franco-Italian duo Laura Drouet and Olivier Lacrouts (d-o-t-s) are curating the six-week program of the international Summer School as Heads of School. Titled “The School of Phyto-centred Design,” the program invites participants to get inspired by the plant world in Pillnitz Palace and Park during a series of nine-day workshops.

The Heads of School will be on site in Pillnitz throughout the Summer School and provide insights into their research and curatorial practice.

July 20–28, 2023: Making the Difference
Fernando Laposse—The Avocado Legacy
Emma Bruschi—The Harvest

August 3–11, 2023: Shifting Perspective
Passepartout Duo—Greenhouse Grooves
Simone Kenyon—The Embodied Garden

August 17–25, 2023: Giving Back
ERBA (Suzanne Bernhardt & Philipp Kolmann)—Weaving Nettle Tales
d-o-t-s—Curating Change

About the Heads of School
d-o-t-s is a nomadic curatorial practice founded by Laura Drouet (France) and Olivier Lacrouts (Italy/France). The duo’s investigations focus on the diverse and questionable relationships that—through design—human communities establish among themselves, with other animals, plants, and landscapes. Defined by the participatory and interdisciplinary approach, d-o-t-s’ work spans writing, exhibition-making, hands-on workshops and design commissions.

About the Design Campus
The Design Campus is the think tank and research & development platform of the Kunstgewerbemuseum as part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collection Dresden). Through its four pillars: the Museum, the School, the Lab, and the Network, the Design Campus is a space for recalibration and empowerment of creative practitioners to take action on the many changes, challenges and uncertainties of the 21st century.

The yearly initiated Summer School is relevant to both the museum, and its future projects, and to the wider world. Each year, as part of its six-week Summer School program, the Design Campus offers a series of workshops, led by world-renowned creative professionals.

Who can apply?
Curious, restless, dreamer of better places, creative, fearless, social, collaborative, interested, engaged, inquisitive, designer, architect, artist, scientist, curator, journalist, engineer, developer, photographer, filmmaker, skilled students, recent graduates or young-professionals, open-minded people: welcome!

Great chance to think and dream big, with like-minded people, learn new skills, get involved in future projects in the museum, its environs, and its network, and perhaps change the world by design.