Biennale di Venezia – Biennale Sessions, 6 - 9 June 2017, Sale d’Armi C, Arsenale
design akademie berlin, SRH Hochschule für Kommunikation und Design
Project and workshop: foreign + foreignness
Prof. Katrin Androschin
Prof. Julia Leihener
M.A. Strategic Design students:
Angela Garcia Botero, Anjali Kadian, Benjamin Chun Man Au, Ekta Khera, Eugene Vasilenko, Florian Knape, Giulia Hartz, Juan Useche, Lea Roth, Lenya Bass, Nadja Rauch, Oan Al-Hindi.
After having conducted user research and pre-concept iterations in Berlin, the Master students ran a public design thinking activity in Venice, dealing with aspects of identity, habits and borders. The students applied strategies like redefining, contextualising as well as relieving foreignness on the following questions:
How are current political divisions of land influencing our identities?
Constant exchange of melting cultures allows us to reflect, redefine and overcome our mental borders in order to build a united understanding of the world and its people. An interactive installation created a unique identiy experience by challenging existing borders.
How might we open our hearts to others in order to overcome estrangement?
Traditions may bind us, cultures alienate us, borders divide us – but in love, we are united. One of the project teams explored emotions, behaviour and alienation in love relationships. It translated love messages into a foreign language that neither the senders nor their beloved ones were familiar with and sent them on a journey of finding 'love in translation’.
How can foreignness and strangeness be transformed into familiarity with the exchange of stories?
The Biennale ticket gave visitors the opportunity to discover new people and perceptions by leading conversations on art, which not only created emotions but also initiated dialogue and facilitated unity in diversity.
How can we we unlock strangeness between strangers?
People are locked in their comfort zone, not opening up to their surroundings. As a key to overcome this habit, strangers solved a riddle collectively while being locked in pairs.
How can we overcome feeling foreign by challening the perception of each other?
The 'Last Heirs Model3 Shirt’ allowed to modify the message the shirt communicates. Very personal information – real or fictional – could be shared in a surprisingly open way.
The three days workshop at the Biennale was conducted in cooperation with M.A. Strategic Design students of the Poli.design Milano. Prof. Gilbert Beronneau accompanied the project by leading individual semistructured interviews with the students on their experience engaging with the research topic of ‚foreign and foreignness’.
We are very grateful to be one of the few universities invited to take part in one of the world’s most important art events, covering the relevant and important topic of ‚foreign + foreignness’. We had a very inspiring and challenging time being part of the Biennale Sessions!