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Art, Design and Architecture as a Laboratory of Digital Modernity

Plenary / Panel
german language

The process of digitalisation is changing our daily lives so fundamentally that we live in a new era of modernity – digital modernity. Challenges of this scale demand a radical change of perspective. How can we respond to the new global paradigm of AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics with “artistic intelligence”, i.e. benefits from art and other creative disciplines in order to collectively promote positive change?


Co-Founder and Managing Partner, EOOS Design Studio; Founder and Director, Institute of Design Research Vienna Abstract
Eine zukunftsweisende Rolle kommt dem Design in der Transformation unserer im globalen Norden weit verbreiteten unsolidarischen, nicht weltverträglichen Lebensweise zu. Die Werkzeuge dazu haben sich in der Geschichte des Designs in den letzten 50 Jahren herausgebildet und wurden in zahlreichen laborhaften Situationen sowohl außerhalb als auch innerhalb des bestimmenden Systems weiterentwickelt.

Die Demokratisierung der Nutzung von Digitaltechnologie, wie zum Beispiel 3d-Konstruktionsprogrammen und 3d-Druckern, ermöglichen dezentrale Lösungen für eine lokale Produktion. Digitale Gemeingüter (Commons) ermöglichen den Zugang und die Ausbreitung von Massenkreativität und stellen dem Copyright-Paradigma der Industrie eine wirkungsvolle Alternative entgegen. „Co-Design“, das gemeinsame Gestalten mit zukünftigen NutzerInnen, wird die Basis von sozialer und technologischer Innovation werden. Forschung und Design passieren nicht mehr für die, sondern mit der Gesellschaft. Die digitalen Technologien sind Schlüsseltechnologien für lokale, aber auch globale Partizipation. Sie unterstützten die dringend notwendige Alternativenbildung zu unserer heutigen Lebensweise durch Dokumentation von Alternativen und die Möglichkeit der Kommentierung und Weiterbearbeitung. Digitale Kommunikationstechnologien katalysieren entscheidend die Geschwindigkeit des positiven Wandels und geben auch kleinen Initiativen eine weitgehörte, transformative Stimme. „Social Design“ lenkt seinen Blick auf die Menschen die Hilfe brauchen. So entstehen neue Aufgaben für das Design.

„Informiertes Design“ braucht man, um soziale und umweltrelevante Auswirkungen (Klimawandel, Naturschutz, Artenvielfalt,...) unserer Produkte und Dienstleistungen abzuschätzen und letztlich dafür zu sorgen, dass ein gutes Leben für alle Menschen möglich ist. Der Übergang in eine Kreislaufwirtschaft, die Berücksichtigung der Prinzipien der Bioökonomie und die Ausrichtung der Gesellschaft auf das Gemeinwohl erfordern eine Neudefinition von Design und seinen Werkzeugen, aber auch der Rolle von Design innerhalb von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.
Professor of Psychology, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg Abstract
I quote from the introductory lines to this session: „Challenges posed by the rapid digitalisation and overexploitation of our planet demand a radical change of attitude.“ My intention here is to inject some tentative optimism that our species’ basic form of social cognition provides a good grounding for meeting these challenges.
We are an essentially cooperative species, which explains the tremendous cultural and technological achievements that outshine those of any other species. Human cooperation is fostered by our natural inclination to see ourselves acting and interacting in a shared world, which provides us with objective reasons for action. This view comes to us naturally in our first few years of life. Only as we get older do we understand that our sharing of the world has its limits as people can have different subjective views on what is worth pursuing and how to best achieve it. Of course, as adults we are keenly aware of the existence of the subjectivity of views but, even then, our unreflective approach to our conspecifics is to assume a shared world of shared objectives.
This view is a good basis for tackling the looming problems caused by overexploitation, because once people see the good reasons for the needed changes they feel compelled to act on these reasons and expect others to follow suit. Importantly, for this to work people must be in a position to perceive the common objectives and means to reach them. Here universal digitalisation may prove helpful by fostering a global community. However, the challenge remains to prevent the information channels being hijacked by particular interest groups.
Professor of Architecture and Design, Blekinge Institute of Technology; Delegate, UNESCO Research and Education Commission, International Union of Architects, Villach Abstract
Modernity, as Hartmut Rosa explains, is linked to the notion of technical efficiency. The Fordian definition of „Time is Money“ led not only to today’s technical, but also to its social and cultural acceleration. Architecture followed this misleading tendency, only to find itself being reduced from a science of the highest humanistic aims to an uncritical sales and marketing tool.
The paradigm change of the architect’s role in society is manifest. A new generation of urban and rural design-rebels is proving that sustainability is more than a technical solution and that the creation of architecture products for the few by established stars has been replaced by humble but ambitious collective processes designed to invent adequate living space for all.
Jana Revedin redefines time as an endless dimension: „time is free - haste is costly“. She explains her Radicant Design methodology (radicant, Botany: plants growing by a complex system of roots and rhizomes and developing in an open work morphology) through her experimental urban renewal projects in the Global South.
The lighting of the slums of Cairo’s Garbage City by lanterns which were collectively designed and self-built using recycled materials and fed by solar power became a globally-noticed model. But no money was invested here: just time and knowledge. The radicant method, in which the unity of will of a given community is combined with the power of individual work and interdisciplinary learning, is a catalyst of cultural authenticity as much as of social and technical emancipation. Today, lanterns of many designs and sizes, sold on the internet, secure the circular economy of the ongoing Garbage City’s street lighting…
General Director and Artistic Director, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art; Head, Vienna Biennale, Vienna Chair

Dr.habil. Harald GRÜNDL

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, EOOS Design Studio; Founder and Director, Institute of Design Research Vienna

1988-1994 Studied Industrial Design, graduated with honours at the University for Applied Arts Vienna
1995 Founded EOOS together with Martin Bergmann and Gernot Bohmann
1997-1998 Paris Fellowship of the Republic of Austria for EOOS
2002-2005 Doctorate in Philosophy with honours from the University of Vienna and University of Applied Arts Vienna
2008 Founding of the Institute of Design Research Vienna (IDRV)
2009 Awarded Dr. phil. habil. in the field of "Theory and History of Design"
2010-2011 Visiting professor specialising in design, University of Fine Arts, Hamburg
2011 Sustainable Product Design, Department for Spatial and Sustainable Design, TU Vienna
2014 Design reinstallation and curatorial guidance of the former study collection "MAK DESIGN LABOR", Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
  Museum for Applied Arts, Vienna
2015 Vienna Biennale 2015: ideas for Change. Curator (with Thomas Geisler, MAK): "2015: Smart Life in the City",
2016 La Biennale di Venezia - Architettura: "Social Furniture by EOOS", Austrian Pavillion
2017 Curator, Vienna Biennale 2017: Robots. Work. Our Future. Together with Ulrike Haele and Martina Fineder: "CityFactory. New Work. New Design"

Dr. Josef PERNER

Professor of Psychology, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Salzburg

1968-1972 Studies, Psychology (major), Mathematics (minor) and Philosophy (philosophicum), University of Salzburg
1972-1978 Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
1974 M.A., University of Toronto
1978 Ph.D., University of Toronto
1978-1979 Scientific Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Basel
1979-1994 Member, Faculty in Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex
1982 Tenure, Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex
1988-1989 Alexander-von-Humboldt Research Fellow, Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich.
1993-1994 Visiting Professor, Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich.
1993 Professor, Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex
since 1995 Professor of Psychology, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg
1997-1999 Chairman, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg
2004-2005 Chairman, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg
2005-2006 Fellow, CASBS - Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford


Professor of Architecture and Design, Blekinge Institute of Technology; Delegate, UNESCO Research and Education Commission, International Union of Architects, Villach

 Studium, Architektur und Städtebau, Buenos Aires / Princeton / Mailand
 Promotion und Habilitation, IUAV - Università Iuav di Venezia, Venedig
 Gründerin, Architekturbüro, Venedig und Kärnten
 Gründerin, Global Award for Sustainable Architecture
 Gründungspräsidentin, LOCUS Stiftung für nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung
 UNESCO Delegierte, Forschungs- und Lehrkommission, Internationale Union der Architekten (UIA)
 Professorin, Architektur und Gestaltung, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona
 Spezialisierung, Reformarchitektur der Deutschen Avant-Garde
 Wissenschaftliche Assistentin, Aldo Rossi
 Kuratorin, Europäischer Studentenwettbewerb für Nachhaltige Architektur
 Professorin, Architektur und Gestaltung, Universität Umea


General Director and Artistic Director, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art; Head, Vienna Biennale, Vienna

1978-1983 Studium der Rechtswissenschaften, Politikwissenschaft und Kunstgeschichte an der Universität Wien
1982-1983 Promotion zum Dr.iur. und zum Dr.phil.
1979-1984 Assistent an der Rechtswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Wien
seit 1984 Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, Auslandsposten: Abidjan (1985), Genf (1986-90), Bonn (1991-93), New York (seit 1999)
1993-1999 Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, 1996-99: Leiter der Abteilung für Europarecht; zusätzlich 1997-99: Leiter der Abteilung Europäischer Rat und Rat Allgemeine Angelegenheiten; ASTV II; multilaterale Handelspolitik; Außenwirtschaftsbeziehungen betreffend Mittelmeerraum, Naher Osten, Golfregion, Afrika
1999-2007 Direktor, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
2007-2011 Geschäftsführer
seit 2011 Direktor, Museum für Angewandte Kunst / Gegenwartskunst, Wien

Technology Symposium

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology BrunchSocial
13:00 - 13:10Opening of the Alpbach Technology Symposium 2015Plenary
13:10 - 14:00RTI Policy TalkPlenary
14:00 - 15:30Living with the Machine in the FuturePlenary
16:00 - 17:30Cyber Physical SystemsPlenary
19:45 - 21:15Regional Debate Central Eastern EuropePlenary
21:15 - 23:30Career LoungeSocial
21:15 - 23:30Evening ReceptionSocial


09:00 - 10:30BioeconomyPlenary
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
10:50 - 12:15Complexity SciencePlenary
12:15 - 13:00Lunch Snacks for the Participants of the Breakout SessionSocial
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 01: 2015: The End of Energy RevolutionBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 02: Bio-Economy in Action: National Bio-Economy Strategies in ComparisonBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 03: Human Enhancement Technologies: Amplifying or Reducing InequalityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 04: Research Promotion at the Interfaces of Risk, Creativity and MainstreamBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 05: Market Upheavals: Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 06: Entrepreneurship: What Can Science Contribute?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 07: Games of InEqualityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 08: Physical Internet: A Seismic Shift for Logistics and MobilityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 09: Dynamics by Heterogeneity: How Economy and Research Profit from DiversityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 10: Energy Transition: Same Goal - Different WaysBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 11: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: A Market Breakthrough Ahead?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 12: A Bright Future? Challenges and Opportunities for LED LightingBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 13: Truth and Reality: The Importance of Models in Economy, Science and PhilosophyBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 14: Virtual Learning: InEquality in Education?Breakout
20:00 - 21:30Urban Innovators Challenge - Start Up Your CompanyPartner


09:00 - 10:30MIT and its Media Lab, Special Guest at this Year's Technology SymposiumPlenary
10:30 - 11:30InEquality: The New Silk RoadPlenary
11:50 - 13:15Art, Design and Architecture as a Laboratory of Digital ModernityPlenary
13:15 - 13:30Closing Statement of the Alpbach Technology SymposiumPlenary
13:30 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial