A discussion forum entitled “The Global Shift: Who Shapes the Future of Design?” takes place in Milan on Apr. 15

At the start of the 21st century, major shifts in global power structures coincide – and possibly correlate – with a mounting discussion around the potential of design. The Vitra Design Museum’s current exhibition “Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design” suggests that African design and art can make a unique contribution to this discussion. To delve deeper into this subject matter, the Vitra Design Museum brings together prominent thinkers and designers from the Global North and the Global South for a day of discussions and lectures. At Palazzo Clerici in Milan.

The speakers explore pertinent areas of contemporary design discourse such as the future of production, social design and the merger of analogue and digital technologies. The question at hand: Can concepts that originate outside our traditional, Western-centric understanding of design offer an entirely new perspective and perhaps more relevant approaches in addressing today’s challenges?


2 p.m. Introduction by Amelie Klein, curator, Vitra Design Museum.

2:15 p.m. Part 1: The Future of Production. Keynote: Mugendi M’Rithaa. Discussion: Peter Mabeo, Ville Kokkonen, Mario Minale and Tahir Karmali with Amelie Klein.

3:30 p.m. Part 2: Design as a Social and Political Tool. Keynote: Anil Gupta. Discussion: Basma Hamdy and Corinna Gardner with Joseph Grima.

4:30 p.m. Part 3: The Analogue/Digital Merger. Keynote: Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid. Discussion: Indy Johar and Thibault Brevet with Jan Boelen

6 p.m. Aperitivo in the Courtyard