Point of No Return: Born in the Echoes
31 May 2019
Aula at HFBK Hamburg
The presentation of “Germany’s Most Beautiful Books 2018” at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair triggered a veritable wave of indignation. In a public letter, more than 20 graphic design professors positioned themselves critically with regard to the content direction taken by the Stiftung Buchkunst, which it said “ignores experimental and artistic developments in its selection and acts like a national interest group for the printing and publishing industry”.
In three symposia held at intervals throughout the year, the series known as “Point of No Return” deals with the question of the task and relevance of graphic design in a media-oriented society and considers the nature of the responsibilities involved. How can graphic design stimulate and meaningfully support critical reflection and its mediation within and outside expert circles? In order to discuss possibilities together, representatives from design and science will meet to create a greater public awareness for this discourse. The results of the three-part series will be summarised in a book by March 2020, and all contributions to the symposia will also be published as readers in spring 2020 by the HFBK’s in-house press the Materialverlag.
The second symposium, “Born in the Echoes”, will specifically address the question of how communication designed by graphic designers can be opened up to participation in solidarity and in dialogue. The focus is explicitly on the central role graphic design plays in the communication of new, transnational societies and the ensuing responsibility of graphic designers to think critically and in interdisciplinary terms.
International speakers from design, teaching and science will look at graphic design in dialogue with philosophy, ethnology, sociology, design theory and cultural studies. The symposium will take place in German and English and will be moderated by Tulga Beyerle, Director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. Participation is free of charge. The speakers include Alice Rawthorn (design critic, London), Christian Bauer (deputy professor, Saarbrücken), Eva Linhart (curator for book art and graphics, MAK Frankfurt) and Friedrich von Borries (professor, HFBK Hamburg).