Two days round tables, Cluj, Romania.


Dates: 13th -14th of November 2013

Location: Plan B Gallery Cluj

Address: The Paintbrush Factory, Str. Henri Barbusse 59–61, 400616 Cluj

Project’s website:



If there is a close relationship between design and visual form, we assist today to the extension of the notion of design. Not only design refers to the formal conception of the industrial produced objects, but the notion of design covers today a large set of activities, if it is to take into consideration that design integrates scientific, technological, cultural and political aspects. Design does not relates anymore to object-based concerns, but has expanded its meaning to context based aspects. In this sense we are close to the definition given once by Laszlo Moholy Nagy in his book, „Vision in motion”, that “design it is not a profession but an attitude”.

Design is seen today as a form of mediation between technology and environment, between specialists and society. It is the mark of an active form of exploration and participative modelization of the environment and finally of ourselves. To form (or to give form), as well as to „draw” (or to design), is about expressing a vision about the soon to be present and about the future, it is about negotiating different components that are to be taken in consideration. Design is about conceiving and developing artifacts by paying attention to their future form, function, conditions of production, ways of use and consumption. For this reason design proves to be a form of political manifestation and the legitimacy of design processes can be appropriated only from a critical stand point.




  1. Design and Design Education (November 13, 2013)

Romanian (and generally Eastern-European) art and design universities’ curriculum is based on the heritage of Bauhaus and VHUTEMAS pedagogical concerns. Not only that design education was centered on visual and formal training, but central to their concern was the assimilation of craft skills as starting point for a design practice. Still, in the last decade of XX century we assisted to important political and social changes both at local and global level, as well as to technological and economical mutations. Despite all these facts, there was little concern about questioning the basis of the design education. Considering that such an evaluation it is absolutely necessary, the present round table will put into question the present design curriculum in the Romanian universities and will take into consideration the present state of design education.

Questions to be addressed:

  • Is the legacy of Bauhaus and VHUTEMAS pedagogical programs still valid today?
  • Which are the major objections to be formulated to the mentioned model?
  • Which should be the project of design education today?
  • What kind of pedagogical methodologies are to be used?
  • What kind of relationship should and could be established between design education and the world of production and consumption?


  1. Design and entrepreneurship (November 14, 2013)

Defined as a “problem solving activity, capable of formulating in physical terms solutions to problems encountered in the natural and socio-cultural millieu”, design is about to bring major changes in our society. Design seems to be the new “promised land” in the present economical turmoil. Design accelerators and the encouragement of creativity and of design driven initiatives are more and more present in the economic agendas.

Questions to be addressed:

  • Do we need more design? Or do we need more productivity?
  • Can a design driven model bring a change in the society?
  • Can design take the place of economic policies?
  • Which are the responsibilities of designers in this case?
  • Which are the instruments a designer dispose?



Ioana Sanda Avram (University of Arts Bucharest, RO), Mirela Duculescu (University of Architecture and Urbanism „Ion Mincu“, Bucharest, RO), Emilian Dan Cartis (Humanscale New York, USA), Tincuţa Heinzel (2580 Association), Ina Leonte (ZEST Collective), Prof. Dr. Marius Marcu-Lăpădat (University of Architecture and Urbanism „Ion Mincu“, Bucharest), Timotei Nădășan (IDEA Arta + Societate journal), Eugen Pănescu (Planwerk Cluj), Zilvinas Lilas (KHM – Media Arts School Cologne), Katharina Bredies (Berlin University of Arts – Design Research Lab), Alec Balasescu (Romanian Cultural Institute Istanbul), Cristian Chesut (University of Arts and Design Cluj), Ciprian George Mihnea (University of Arts and Design Cluj).