The Design Academy Eindhoven’s GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform explores the social, economic, territorial, and geopolitical forces shaping design today. It generates original research into complex contemporary systems in the form of design explorations and investigations. In collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, GEO—DESIGN has expanded the public exhibition of the Academy’s alumni work to create an ongoing exhibition series that provides an urgently needed space for showcasing experimental approaches to design research. Launched in 2018 by Design Academy Eindhoven’s Creative Director Joseph Grima, the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform is curated by Martina Muzi. In 2020 Design Academy Eindhoven launched the new Master Department Geo-Design, led by Formafantasma, under the same vision.

The GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform was conceived with several motivations. First, how could design respond to the increasing influence of global network structures in reordering the material environment—particularly when these structures fell beyond the traditional purview of the design discipline? Second, how could design assemble a truly interdisciplinary toolkit—including experimental technologies, newly accessible resources, immersive communication media, and creative research strategies—in order to confront the urgencies of the contemporary moment? Third, how could these design challenges be approached through collaborative efforts that would strengthen and build upon a collective body of research insights and outcomes?

Over two years, four chapters, and 44 unique research projects, the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform has become an internationally recognised platform with a signature methodology of critical investigation, plurality of authorship, inventive proposals, and unique viewpoints situated in extended and diverse geographies. Every chapter of GEO—DESIGN has been developed to bring the research to public audiences, whether at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week, in exhibitions during the Milan Design Week, or in online and print formats during the extraordinary global context of COVID-19. Whether looking at specific phenomena like Alibaba (2018) or the SARS-CoV-2 virus (2020) or fundamental topics like Junk (2019) or Sand (2020), the GEO—DESIGN exhibitions have shown that designers can work together to find new understandings and entry points into the complex forces that underpin contemporary societies.

This archive brings together, for the first time, all 44 GEO—DESIGN projects and four chapters in an accessible, in-depth online platform. The archive has been assembled with the aim to share the discoveries, references, fieldwork, and design processes behind each project, in order to give the viewer a more informed perspective on each project’s trajectory: from the initial starting points to original creative iterations, from the back-end of schematic drawings and algorithmic scripts to the final outcomes of films, books, and virtual models, which can be viewed and explored in high-resolution.

At the same time, the archive goes beyond the original structure of four chapters: as the collected body of projects continues to grow, the archive extracts new themes and enables multiple readings across sets of projects. Using the multiple filters and themes displayed in the archive interface, viewers can explore the projects through a broad spectrum of issues that are inevitably entangled in any investigation of geopolitical infrastructures and global networks. The archive can thus initiate new conversations and events that concern this expanded range of topics, while also inviting viewers to learn from and respond to the resources, techniques, and ideas developed under the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform and shared on geodesign.online with international audiences.

CURATOR

Martina Muzi

EDITOR

Tamar Shafrir

DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

Giacomo Nanni
Domitille Debret

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Jeannette Petrik
Anna Winston

EPISODE DESIGNERS

Irene Stracuzzi
The Anderen
Bureau Pas Pareil

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Quentin Creuzet

DESIGN ACADEMY EINDHOVEN EXECUTIVE BOARD

Joseph Grima, Creative Director
Mechtild van den Hombergh, Director of Organisation
Raf de Keninck, Director Education and Research

DESIGN ACADEMY EINDHOVEN COMMUNICATIONS & PR

Raffaela Vandermühlen
Ilka van Steen

VAN ABBEMUSEUM EXECUTIVE BOARD

Charles Esche
Anastasia van Gennip

VAN ABBEMUSEUM TEAM

Inge Borsje
Diederik Koppelmans
Bart van Geldrop
Neeltje van Gool

PARTICIPANTS

Alexandre Humbert, Alice Guidi, Alice Wong, Alissa+Nienke, Allison Crank, Anna Diljá Sigurðardóttir, Arvid&Marie, Aryan Javaherian, Atelier to the Bone, Baiba Soma, Bich Tran, Bureau Pas Pareil, Christoph Dichmann, Clara Ormières, Colette Aliman, Colin Keays, Dorota Gazy, Elissa Brunato, Felicity Morris, Fred Erik, Giacomo Nanni, Ines Glowania, Irene Stracuzzi, Jasper Zehetgruber, Jing He, Johanna Seelemann, Julian Peschel, Kiki Mager, Kirstie van Noort, Lauriane Heim, Lara Chapman, Leif Czakai, Leo Orta, Lotte de Haan, Martina Muzi, Marvin Unger, Mathilde Philipponnat, Matteo Dal Lago, Maxime Benvenuto, Minji Choi, Noemi Biasetton, Noud Sleumer, Rawad Baaklini, Romain Laval, Schimmel & Schweikle, Shahar Livne, Shay Raviv, Studio Plastique, Studiolow, Tamara Orjola, Tellurico, The Anderen, Tiiu Meiner, Timm Donke, Vincent Thornhill, Yanjin Wu