see-Conference #10 or: Which way to the future?

15.07.2016 Fritz Ehlers

The see-Conference in Wiesbaden is one of the biggest design conferences in Germany. Designers, architects, media artists and philosophers present current trends for the “visualization of information” in their lectures. If you think that this is only about a section of art direction, you are underestimating the requirements that the see-Conference has for itself and its visitors. Prof. Dr Harald Welzer, the keynote speaker who opened the conference, put the intellectual standard accordingly high right away. 

See_Conference

His thesis: Other than our parents in the past century, we let our lives pass by with no sense of direction. You can see this in the fact that we don’t create images of the future for ourselves. Nothing that we are working towards. Nothing that is meant to change from ideal or utopia to real life one day. No eight-lane freeways, no suspension railways and no metropolitan landscapes filled with gigantic skyscrapers. You can feel the desire for an evocative provocation, which Harald Welzer wants to realize by all means - and he quickly has a counterexample ready in his mind. Movies from Blade Runner to Wall-E to Gattaca, to name only a few.

And still, you have to agree with him a little. Certainly shaped to a part by the quarterly thinking of economy and politics, we have lost the ability to look forward. This way, the following lectures turned into preachings full of encouraging arguments to think bigger and further: Architect Teddy Cruz took the improvisation talent of Latin American house builders and infiltrated the rich, American North with it. The lateral thinker Van Bo Le-Mentzel showed himself convinced of a crowd sourced better future. Designer and artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg developed future scenarios that focused on surprising combinations of technology and synthetic biology. At the same time, one after the other, the audience at the see-Conference #10 became part of a church community of visionaries. Hopefully not only confessing but also practicing members. 

Didn’t ‘design’ in ‘design conference’ come off a little short here? No, it didn’t. Thanks to the splendid information graphics by Francesco Franchi and the sensitive digital projects by Koichiro Tanaka presented by two speakers that focused on the manual part of their work. Dont think, just open your eyes and be amazed. And this has something to it, too!