GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home seeks to trace the nebulous outline of a company called Alibaba, best known as the world’s largest virtual shopping mall. In reality Alibaba is more than just a “company”, or even one of the world’s largest companies: it is at once an Internet platform, chat system, financial institution, social network, cloud computing service, digital wallet, education and innovation driver, and an almost indescribably vast logistics network that links cities, ports and factory villages across the world. Whether we recognise it or not, it is a powerful agent in eve…
See more

Exhibition Debut

Van Abbemuseum Exhibition Plan

Dutch Design Week 2018 Exhibition Photos

Animated Banners

Designed by Irene Stracuzzi

Publication

Photos and design by Irene Stracuzzi

Milan Design Week 2019 Exhibition Photos

Milan Design Week 2019 Opening Party

Photos by Nicole Marnati

Alibaba.

GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home seeks to trace the nebulous outline of a company called Alibaba, best known as the world’s largest virtual shopping mall. In reality Alibaba is more than just a “company”, or even one of the world’s largest companies: it is at once an Internet platform, chat system, financial institution, social network, cloud computing service, digital wallet, education and innovation driver, and an almost indescribably vast logistics network that links cities, ports and factory villages across the world. Whether we recognise it or not, it is a powerful agent in every stage of the design process today—and more than simply shaping the rules of design, production, and circulation as an e-commerce giant, Alibaba is both a massive influence and an engine for change in contemporary geopolitics and global infrastructure.

Design Academy Eindhoven launched the GEO—DESIGN exhibition platform in 2018 to explore the social, economic, territorial, and geopolitical forces shaping design today. Created in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home is the first exhibition to emerge from this platform. The exhibition unpacks what happens before, during and after Alibaba enters our homes, whether in the form of a shipped good, a shopping platform, an algorithm, a video stream, or the latest prophetic vision of the company’s CEO and founder, Jack Ma.

Nine DAE alumni were invited to research Alibaba’s operational model and its impact on the design field. The designers have entered the mechanism of Alibaba to think within its framework, understand and interact with its system of multiple agents, and respond creatively to the urgencies and unknowns of the present.

GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home was first presented at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, from 13 October to 11 November 2018; and later shown in the Milan Design Week from 9 to 14 April 2019. Curated by Joseph Grima (DAE Creative Director) and Martina Muzi.


Researchers
Alice Wong, Double 11
Allison Crank, The Best Part of Possibilities: Advertising Made by a Bot
Arvid&Marie, Alibabaum Sortium: Buyer’s Desire
Irene Stracuzzi, Custom Printing 4-metre Inflatable Globe
Jing He, Live Streaming
Kiki Mager, Qin 親 [Hello Friend]
Martina Muzi, Diamond Model
Maxime Benvenuto, Ali-Atlas: Mapping Alibaba Diplomacy
Timm Donke and Leif Czakai, E-Hustling East Africa: Online with Alibabara


Curators
Joseph Grima (DAE Creative Director) and Martina Muzi

Graphic Design
Irene Stracuzzi

Writing & Editing
Tamar Shafrir with Martina Muzi and Joseph Grima

Manager Communications, Relations & Events
Raffaela Vandermühlen

Communications & PR
Ilse Meulendijks, Marc Ruis

Online Media
Ginger Spierings, Jules Bressers

Producer
Holly Krueger

Milan Events Team
Nienke Helder, Ilka van Steen, Sofia Irene Marmolejo

Design Academy Eindhoven Executive Board
Joseph Grima
Mechtild van den Hombergh

Van Abbemuseum Team
Inge Borsje, Project Leader
Diederik Koppelmans and Theo Wajon, Technical Coordination
Angeliki Petropoulos, Registrar
Marijke van Hal, Communication

Van Abbemuseum Executive Board
Charles Esche
Anastasia van Gennip

Press

"Dutch Design Week. Alibaba’s e-commerce empire dissected in Eindhoven exhibition," Domus, October 31, 2018. Link

"De impact van Alibaba," de Architect, April 9, 2019. Link

"Designbeurs Salone del Mobile in Milaan: Succes begint met er zijn," Eindhovens Dagblad, April 13, 2019. Link

"GEO—DESIGN: The Discipline of the Future," Elle Decor, April 14, 2019. Link

"Alibaba is redesigning the world's geography says Design Academy Eindhoven curator," Dezeen, May 15, 2019. Link

"Alibaba’s colossal influence, visualized in 9 art projects," Fast Company, May 21, 2019. Link