Re – Graduation exhibition of 2019
Re is a critical response, a process, and a mindset about making again, a repetition, a repositioning, a regeneration.
Re acts as a link for theoretical and topical frameworks within each of our works and repositioning of design as a response to current practices and perspectives. Re is a way to show the reworking of things, ideas and concepts, showing that our work is accumulative, building, transforming, reiterating and reappropriating what has been; our cycles of thought, behaviour, and practice.
The + Change programmes aim to educate designers who can respond to the critical state of our ecological and social systems. In shaping our futures, designers will face unprecedented challenges compared to what conventional designers faced during the twentieth century. We know that human activities, especially the overconsumption often associated with design, drives unsustainability.
In the programmes we want to emphasise the very potential for design and visual communication to affect and create change through approaches of adaptation, evolution and revolution. To affect change through design can be about initiatives directed at products, systems or worldviews. We can choose to use design to affect change locally, regionally or globally, and with a focus on ecology, economy, human health and equality, or all of this simultaneously.
Altogether + Change means purposefully using design, and its inherent creativity, in order to build towards a more sustainable future.
Excerpt from the opening speech by Ida Bencke, Eric Snodgrass, Cassandra Troyan and Zeenath Hasan
When we step into this exhibition about design and change, we encounter a multilogue, a complex choreography, a weaving of voices, ideas, proposals and dreams on how to do things differently by means of redirections from norms, by means of committing to caring and careful practices not only presented in your projects, but lived and enacted in your everyday collective work towards making this exhibition come together, and for that you can be immensely proud of yourself.
In our program we aim to open up, rethink and expand the idea of how change can be achieved through visual communication and design, both in the here and now and moving into the future. In introducing this exhibition and our students involved, I just wanted to mention what I see as one of their strongest traits having followed them through their studies: it is that of a collective spirit.
During the planning and creation of the exhibition, we as a collective of students and tutors, have engaged with the idea of an exhibition not as a place for merely representing and reproducing ideas, but as a space for thinking-together, becoming-something different together, of repeating differently, doing things again in order to do them in slightly new way, in order to bring about change.
We have sustainability as one key element in our program. As climate, environmental and other movements working for change have been aware, a collective spirit is essential for achieving meaningful and sustainable forms of change. We need a collective spirit and others around us to help pick ourselves up from the difficult moments of both global crisis but also in our everyday lives. We need support structures to get us through moments of crisis, whether it be a group of friends, a kind stranger who asks us if we are need help or a classmate who finds the thing we had given up looking for. This group of students is full of this spirit of support. They rescue furniture and repair it so that it can be rested on after a particularly tiring day of class. They setup and maintain feminist farms meant to provide sustainable food sources for locals here in Växjö, even during the longest and driest of Swedish summers we’ve known. And they come together to put on daring and innovative exhibitions in Kalmar, Stockholm, Värnamo and now Växjö.
When you browse this exhibition of young artists and designers, I just want to emphasise the collective effort and belief that goes into trying to build these new forms of design. Change is not just about the future, it is also what you leave behind you. And beyond this exhibition, I can tell you that these students leave behind them a genuine collective approach. They have brought change and a sense of care to the department that inspires us all. We learn from our students. They show us the way by bringing generous, sustainable and collective forms of change to life. We are very happy to see them here today and to share their approaches with others in this lovely venue!