BIO 26| Talks #1 #2 #3 #4

BIO 26| Talks #1 #2 #3 #4

BIO 26| Talks is a series of dynamic round-tables conversations with invited guests from fields as diverse as science, philosophy, law, journalism, politics and design to explore the complexity of the biennial’s theme and exhibition. Led by the curators, each talk will be divided into two 30 minute sessions with a Q&A at the end. Come contribute your perspective to the issue at stake. 

Past events:

BIO 26| Pogovor #4: Wisdom

This fourth and last event in the BIO 26| Talks series will focus on wisdom and design. Wisdom sits at the top of the DATA-INFORMATION-KNOWLEDGE-WISDOM relational pyramid diagram---devised by information management scientist Russell L. Ackoff-- that serves as the basis to structure the whole biennial. In the context of BIO 26| Common Knowledge, ‘Wisdom’ has been framed as the use of data, information, and all the knowledge one has to make better decisions, be smarter about Nature and our surroundings, asking big questions, embracing systemic thinking and complexity, understanding the necessity of interdisciplinarity to create and evolve, considering the big and small picture, and understanding oneself as responsible and engaged citizens. What has design to do with it?

The first session of the talk will address design in times of crisis. MoMA Senior Curator of Design, Paola Antonelli, join us from New York to talk about her latest exhibition,  “Broken Nature,” and the new term she has coined ‘Restorative Design’ paving the ground for a discussion on the pressing issues of our time: information, displacement and climate crisis, social injustices, and design as a tool and strategy to tackle such urgent problems upfront. In the second session, questions of design as a political activity and democratic tool will frame the discussion.

Alice Rawsthorn will lead the discussion bringing insights from her book “Design as an Attitude,” that explores how designers are using their knowledge, ingenuity, and resourcefulness to pursue social, political and ecological goals, liberating design from its commercial role from the Industrial Age. With MAO's director Matevž Čelik Vidmar and architect Tina Gregorič the discussion will also focus on BIO; what is its impact and the experimental design's developed through it on the local scene.

There is an inherent quality to “wisdom” that relates it to experiential knowledge used for good, a moral judgment, acquired over time. There is also a kind of wholeness about wisdom that is not about scattered pieces of knowledge, but a profound understanding of interdependence and interconnectedness of a given area of expertise. It is an eagle’s eye vantage point for how everything fits together. Is design as a practice becoming wiser in the 21st century? What is the role of design in mitigating crisis, promoting democracy and in creating grounds for engaged citizens?

Museum of Architecture and Design, Rusjanov trg 7

BIO 26| Talk #3: Data

This third event in the BIO 26| Talks series aimed to address several key questions surrounding data. In a time when society is producing and gathering more data than it is able to process, and is blindingly relying on algorithms to take important decisions, ranging from access to loans or universities, to healthcare, criminal justice or job market, it is high time to stop and think how data is impacting our lives now and in the future. We are just beginning to understand the power, dangers and benefits of Big Data and how its use, misuse and abuse is creating a very toxic environment for democracy and our social and economic ecosystems. On the other hand, its benefits are also incalculable, and felt in every aspect of our lives and creative production. The question remains: is data the beauty or the beast of the digital era?

The first session of the talk focused on data, power, control and sovereignty. How to create a balance on the current trade-offs between: Safety x Autonomy, Free online services x Personal Data Protection, Data Privacy x Open Code in a data-driven world? The guests were Livia Nolasco-Rózsás and Kim Albrecht. On the second session the future possibilities and alternative perspectives to the ubiquitous and indispensable presence of algorithms and data in our lives were discussed: how artists, designers and writers, in close collaboration with scientists, are speculating and offering critical insights and guidance on how to deal with, and think of data.

Ajdovščina Underpass, Ljubljana

BIO 26| Talk #2: Information

This second event in the BIO 26| Talks series aimed to address several key questions about information and its discontents in the digital era, how it affects us and what we can do about it. The first session of our talk, we discussed questions about journalism and media credibility, fake news and how design can influence how we receive and produce news nowadays. The second session brought light to information ethics, activism online and offline, what changed in the digital era? And on the other hand, the commodification of information. Is information a public right or a valuable asset? When information is compromised, what else is at stake?

In the first session, moderators were joined by Angelique Spaninks, director of Eindhoven's art gallery MU, and Aljaž Vindiš, information designer and currently Head of Design for 3fs. Guests of the second sessions were Katarina Bulatovič, assistant editor at, and dr. Aleš Pustovrh, member of BIO advisory committee and co-founder of ABC venture accelerator.

Ajdovščina Underpass, Ljubljana

The event was powered by the Dutch Embassy in Ljubljana.

BIO 26| Talk #1: Information Crisis & Knowledge

On the first in the series of talks "Information Crisis and Knowledge" curator Thomas Geisler and assistant curator Aline Lara Rezende hosted BIO 26 design mentors, members of advisory board Amelie Klein and Deyan Sudjic, and architect Aljoša Dekleva.