Keynote speakers

The organization of Pin-C 2015 is delighted to announce Johan Wagenaar and Peter Paul Verbeek as inspiring keynote speakers for the upcoming conference in May. From their own perspectives they will reflect in their speeches on the overall theme of Pin_C 2015 'Reframing Design'.

For more background information on the keynote speakers please have look at the includes cv's below.

Johan Wagenaar

Johan WagenaarJohan Wagenaar (1952) is a visual artist, tutor at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, and artistic leader of Het Instituut.  Since 1995 Het Instituut deploys creativity and originality, and produce new lines of thought in spatial questions, social issues or political innovation programmes. Depending on the assignment, an interdisciplinary team is assembled from the worlds of art, design and science. To allow interdisciplinary collaboration to succeed, Het instituut developed special working models that ensure the collaboration between the disciplines is successful. Our clients are active in policymaking, trade and industry and knowledge institutes. We work on location and our programmes are always specific to the context.

ONSbank - Reframing debt: How art and design can help to change lives

Debt is traditionally seen as an individual problem, where somebody is sanctioned for not paying back a loan, a mortgage, the instalments of a purchase, interest, taxes or fines. Once your income is lower than your debts and the resulting fines combined, you’re caught in a catch 22 situation: you are obliged to do the impossible, and punished for not succeeding.
The description of the situation in financial/legal terms is logical and simple: you are rightfully pressed legally and financially to pay what you owe.  A simple graph in two dimensions.
In the ONSbank project the same situation is taken as a four-dimensional phenomenon, because, well, real life is lived, as we all know, in four dimensions.
First, problematic debt obviously has a financial and legal dimension.  Asking about the chain of events that led to the situation in which somebody lost grip of his or her life and spiraled down into debt reveals a social dimension. Second, when somebody runs into misfortune or commits a blunder and loses grip, these well-known factors weigh in: class, education, family situation, and cultural and ethnic issues.
Third, there is the aspect of personal development, as there are often also psychological reasons somebody ends up in severe debt. Depression, trauma, divorce, addictions, and a troubled self-image, often play a decisive role. This third dimension is crucial to the ONSbank project as it relates to the emotional, mental and intellectual capacity to get out of debt and successfully stay out of it. Fourth, there is the element of time, the process to be more precise, and the possibility to structure the process of change that enables young people to leave debt behind and regain some grip over their lives and develop a sense of a meaningful future for themselves. This fourth dimension brings all the previous three together in a designed process, a trajectory that has financial/legal, social, personal, and in a general sense of the word, political dimensions.

ONSbank is a combination of an alternative business model and an activation program in which confession, reflection and action help change the behavior and mentality that led to the creation of the debt in the first place.

Peter-Paul Verbeek

Peter-Paul VerbeekPeter-Paul Verbeek (1970) is professor of philosophy of technology and chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente. He is president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology and a member of the Dutch Council for the Humanities. Verbeek is an editor of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie and a member of the editorial board of SATS. Journal for Northern Philosophy and of the scientific advisory board of Philosophy & Technology. 

Between April 2011 and April 2013 he was chairman of the ‘Young Academy’, which is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2010 until 2012 he held the Socrates chair at Delft University of Technology. Fall 2006 he was guest professor at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Verbeek’s research focuses on the social and cultural roles of technology and the ethical and anthropological aspects of human-technology relations. In 2014, he received a VICI-award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to develop a theory of technological mediation, after having received a VIDI-award (2008), for studying the blurring boundaries between humans and technologies and a VENI-award (2004), for studying the moral significance of technology, and its implications for design.

Among his publications are Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things (University of Chicago Press 2011) and What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (Penn State University Press 2005).

Reframing Design: ‘Design as a mediating activity’

‘Design Thinking’ has proven to be a fruitful way to deal with societal problems and challenges. But what does it in fact mean to approach problems as design problems? What does it imply for our ways to understand societal challenges, and for the ways in which we address them? In order to answer these questions, this lecture will further expand the “mediation approach” that has developed over the past years as a tool to understand and anticipate the impact of designed products on their users and social contexts. Not only the products of design activity, but also the activity of designing itself should be approached as a mediator: design thinking is not a functional tool to solve a problem, but a mediator in our very understanding of what a problem can be and how we could deal with it. Ascetic Design, then, takes this mediation perspective to Design Thinking. Its ascetic character does not consist in ‘refraining’ from design, but rather in ‘reframing’ it, as a highly mediated and mediating activity. Ascetic Design aims to give these mediations a central role, both in design activities, and in the design thinking that comes with it.

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