[artinfo] Designing politics -The politics of design: Call for entries

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Thu Apr 13 16:50:37 CEST 2006

Designing politics – The politics of design

IFG Ulm Promotion Programme
International Public Announcement
Call for entries

Submission Deadline: 31 May 2006

send your application to:
Internationales Forum für Gestaltung (IFG) Ulm
2006 at ifg-ulm.de

for further information, please consult
http://www.ifg-ulm.de> http://www.ifg-ulm.de
or contact Annette Diefenthaler:
diefenthaler at ifg-ulm.de

The International Design Forum IFG (Internationales Forum für Gestaltung) Ulm
announces its promotion programme and is thus 
expanding the design dialogue which has been 
continued in Ulm over the past decades, to 
include the active creation and dissemination of 
knowledge. Analysis, implementation, 
communication and didactic dissemination to a 
professional audience will occupy the key roles.

With the promotion of projects, IFG Ulm is 
creating free space for an autonomous, critical 
examination of current social processes in all 
their complexity. The focus is on four factors: 
establishing, strengthening, supporting and 
learning from and with projects. Design is 
understood here as an exchange of knowledge and 
opinion given shape, extending the concept of 
form into transform, and thus including action. 
Design is therefore always transformation.

Promotion by IFG Ulm includes, but is not limited 
to financial support alone. IFG Ulm provides 
networking, the exchange of experience, and 

Designing politics – The politics of design

»Culture and politics [
] belong together because 
it is not knowledge or truth which is at stake, 
but rather judgment and decision, the judicious 
exchange of opinion about the sphere of public 
life and the common world, and the decision what 
manner of action is to be taken in it, as well as 
to how it is to look henceforth, what kind of 
things are to appear in it.« --Hannah Arendt (The 
Crisis in Culture: Its Social and Political 
Significance, in: Between Past and Future: Eight 
Exercises in Political Thought, New York 1961, 

Ulm is the place in the world that has set itself 
the task of conducting a discourse on
the social responsibility of the designer and 
defining the democratic quality of design. What 
Ulm searched for and formulated is an answer by 
design to the crimes of the
Nazi regime: The Scholl siblings fought for 
things to be different, and the Hochschule für 
Gestaltung in Ulm opened up alternative 
approaches to educating designers. On that basis, 
IFG Ulm continues to represent the conviction 
that the work of designers and architects cannot 
be reduced to aesthetic, technical and commercial 
factors. Design always rests on a social and 
political foundation, and acts upon that 
foundation in return. What does this vision mean 
to us today?

With the promotion programme »Designing politics 
– The politics of design« in 2006, IFG Ulm is 
taking up this discourse which started over 50 
years ago, and is investigating its current 
relevance. Today, Ulm is once again searching for 
what is different:

– How can designers in future define their work 
in an extended and mediating field of 
relationships which also includes social and 
cognitive processes?
– Is there a way for designers to initiate and 
regulate intervention and participation in the 
field of social transformation?
– What design opportunities are linked with a 
view to action, networking and conditioning above 
and beyond formal clarity?

Ulm is looking for examples of projects which 
make the change from an economy of reification to 
an ecology of transformation. Projects which are 
dedicated to processes of becoming. Projects 
which direct their gaze behind the surface of the 
design process and which reveal that design 
diffuses transformational action into the space 
occupied by commercial and political 
decision-making. IFG Ulm’s promotion programme is 
intended to encourage projects to develop 
consequences which leave a lasting mark on our 
social and physical environment.

The available grant amounts to EUR 50,000. It is 
to be allotted by IFG’s Advisory Board upon 
receipt of applications. IFG’s Advisory Board 
reserves the right to allot this sum to one 
project or distribute it among several projects.

The projects may be
– scholarships for the compilation of a project 
application which the beneficiaries are to submit 
to another body (i.e. not IFG Ulm). The aim is to 
facilitate projects which would fail without this 
promotion for the sole reason that the 
preparation for a project grant currently 
requires an extremely large amount of work.
– initiative projects which draw attention to 
deficits in design practice. The spectrum extends 
from town planning, country planning and 
architectural questions to time-related functions 
within product or communication design. It is a 
characteristic of these projects that public 
attention is sought and an examination of design 
quality is performed on the basis of the 
alternatives identified.

The decision will be made on 23.09.2006. It will 
be preceded by a non-public hearing on 22.09.2006 
in the building of the former Hochschule für 
Gestaltung Ulm. A selection of the applications 
submitted will be presented at that hearing by 
the applicants and discussed with invited guests.

Applications may be submitted by
– academic institutions,
– journalists, researchers and designers, and
– graduates of universities in any discipline who 
can provide evidence of at least three years’ 
professional experience.
The members of the IFG Advisory Board and the 
participants in the hearing are barred from 
receiving grants from IFG Ulm.

Please submit your application (max. 10,000 
characters) to IFG Ulm by email only by 
31.05.2006. The address is 2006 at ifg-ulm.de. 
Entries by post will be disregarded. Please also 
state in your application the sum for which you 
are applying. You will receive a reply by 
31.07.2006 indicating whether you are invited to 
the presentation on 22.09.2006. Travel and 
overnight accommodation expenses for that 
presentation will be borne by IFG Ulm.

Should you have any questions, please consult< 
http://www.ifg-ulm.de> http://www.ifg-ulm.de or 
send an email to Annette Diefenthaler: 
diefenthaler at ifg-ulm.de.
We look forward to receiving your suggestions.

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