Key Ideas: Society:

Society is the title of the 3rd Key Ideas Symposium at Camberwell College of Art and Design_ University of the Arts London. The event will explore a range of critically important issues and themes relating to design, art and society.

The day will include talks, discussions and a practical workshop. The aim of the day is to create an intellectual platform for students, creative practitioners and thinkers to develop an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the art and design in and for society. Through a series of provocations the purpose of the event is to bring to the table notions on the role of the artist/designer in the creation, growth and shaping of our built environment, communities and cities, through an exploration of theoretical concepts and practical approaches.

This occasion is intended as a space for critical debate, investigation and experimentation of ideas and concepts that relate art/design and their many contexts to society – in the public ream, environmentally, as notions, as a subversive tool, as utopias, on the streets and in communities.

As designers, we are largely concerned with how to create communication, product, or experience that fulfill their intentions. However, with globalization, digitalization, and virtualization, we begun to realize the need of a bigger question, which is, how artifacts (the facts of art) defines us as humans. As designers we have influence on how humans maneuver and shape the environments and rituals through implements _homo faber; how chairs alter natural ways of congregating; to ethical concerns of how participation in the design process empowers marginalized communities.

Perhaps there is a fundamental swing slowing underway redefining how artist and designers are recognized in and by society. Validation is being widened and is beginning to embrace practices which include ways of working that until relatively recently, were maintained on the boundaries of the accreditation narratives. Within a fluid social field new creative practices are negotiating their merits through interactions, collaboration and even frictions.

“The legacy of disconnection between contemporary art and society is being challenged by a wider rediscovery of the emancipatory nature of the art process (true of art’s function in the longer story of human societies), which is collaborative, participatory and communal, not limited to, or by, lonely agency of the individual artist.”

‘It’s art… but not as we know it! By Professor Declan McGonagle in Art of Negotiation, 2007, David Butler and Vivienne Reiss. Cornerhouse/Publications: Manchester

The scope of Key Ideas: Society is deliberately broad and ambitious. Our times demand nothing less. However, the day also embraces the specific areas of expertise of our panel of speakers with practical examples of ideas in situ.

SOCIETY / 11.05.2011

The next Key Ideas Symposium is entitled SOCIETY.