DESIS Philosophy Talk #5.3 STUDIO TIME


Wunderkammer of the Future

In the conversation we will explore how the philosophy of Walter Benjamin can help speculative design and design fiction to look at the future outside a linear idea of time. In particular, we will discuss how his idea of collection can contribute to this discussion and possibly support critical reflection in speculative design and design fiction, and perhaps empower new reflective practices inspired by Benjamin’s insights.

Benjamin’s ideas relate to the logic of the Wunderkammer where elements of the collection are taken out of their traditional context, and therefore become residual fetishes, objects that have become out of fashion, losing their significance. Yet, these fetishes retain a potentiality: they become “dialectical images”, and precisely by taking them out of their known function and meanings creates the possibility to illuminate the present and future from an alternative perspective.

In this conversation we will discuss how Benjamin’s ideas on the collection and the fetish object can be brought in dialogue with speculative design and design fictions’ attention towards marginal, residual elements of our everyday life (objects, rituals, stories, …).  The discussion offers building blocks for the creation of artefacts questioning a linear idea of history by proposing disruptive futures, allowing the radically new to possibly come.

Conversation hosted by Virginia Tassinari (Assistant Professor LUCA School of Arts & Design Researcher @Pantopicon)

Panel members:

Jon Stam (NL/CA, designer Commonplace studio)
Tal Erez (IL, designer, researcher, chief curator of Jerusalem Design Week) 
Tamar Shafrir (IL, design critic, researcher, Design Academy Eindhoven, Het Nieuwe Instituut)
Francesca Piredda (IT, Assistant Professor, Politecnico Milan)
Aurosa Alison (IT, philosopher, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico I and Politecnico Milan)

Date and time

Friday 20th of April



Via Popoli Uniti 11/13
20121 Milaan
Metro: M1 Rovereto



Sarah De Ceuster