Designers face constant pressure to be unique, to stand out, to reinvent. In this workshop, we want to challenge these expectations. How can embodied practices free us up to explore design in a more honest and authentic way? How can design evolve from personal stories? How can the freedom and playfulness of chance-driven frameworks inform an extended approach to design?
Na Kim and Emily Smith intertwine their fascination with tales from personal objects, together with generative score-based structures and embodied sense-making. Participants will learn to build design from a common source, through improvisational and chance-driven processes. The design outcome embraces the personal, play, and performativity.
Contents and Structure
The five-day Berlin workshop dives into ancestral narratives through items brought to the studio, followed by a series of performative strategies around composition, choreography, chance, and experimental configurations. At the end of the week, we will present a series of corporeal graphic “constructions” to the public.
Na Kim is a graphic designer based in Seoul and Berlin. Kim’s design practice as a system engages without putting limits on the field of graphic design. Kim is taking a methodology to collect objects and events found in everyday life and rearrange them into new order and rules, ultimately expanding design literacy. Recently she is running a project space called, LOOM in Berlin. Besides many other projects, she was responsible for the concept and design of GRAPHIC magazine from 2009 till 2011.
Na has initiated series projects based on her monograph, SET since 2015. Kim’s works have been invited to many international exhibitions at Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Gwangju Design Biennale, Kukje Gallery, MMCA, V&A, MoMA, Milan Triennale Museum, and so on. In addition, Kim has been a curator for Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, Chaumont Graphic Design Festival, and Typojanchi: Seoul International Typography Biennale, International Biennale of Graphic Design Brno.
Emily Smith is a professor of design, a dancer, and an exhibition-maker based in Berlin, Germany. Her interdisciplinary expertise converges in large-scale projects such as the co-artistic direction of the FikraGraphic Design Biennial 01: Ministry of Graphic Design in Sharjah, UAE in 2018. Her essay “A Three-Hour Tour: Towards a Working Methodology for Responsive Curating” in Curating After the Global: Roadmaps for the Present (MIT Press 2019) articulates her approach to curating beyond conventional frames.
In 2020, she organized Emily Smith Presents!—part participatory presentation, part conversation, part group improvisation. Smith has been a Professor at UE University of Europe Applied Sciences in Berlin since 2016 and lectures and teaches in various design, fine art, curatorial, anthropology, and architecture programs internationally.