Sven Ehmann and Dennis Elbers create interfaces to discuss interfaces.
During the last centuries forces in power like religion, politics and money have determined the development of graphic design. Driven by technological inventions an innovative race in communication emerged. Today, as the networked society is upsetting traditional structures, the need for clear exchange of complex content propels the social influence of graphic designers.
By designing interfaces connecting ideas, information and people graphic designers convert their submissive role. On analogue and digital platforms they act as interpreters between complex content (data, messages, functions) and society. Their personal visual interpretation influences the behaviour, opinions, and feelings of many. A great responsibility not many designers and their audience are aware of.
Sven Ehmann (Germany, 1973) and Dennis Elbers (The Netherlands, 1979) observe this development and have set out on a mission to discuss the process and operation of the graphic interface with both stakeholders; designers and audience. Evading the obvious designers-for-designers discussion they strive to ignite a public discourse about the way design influences society and vice versa.
The shared point of view is expressed in both their independent practices and collaboration.
Sven Ehmann edited over 80 books on contemporary visual culture with subjects ranging from information graphics to interactive environments and food for Berlin-based publisher Gestalten. Prior to publishing he worked as digital concept developer and information architect for a leading interactive service provider. Ehmann is curious about radically new forms of creative expression and currently explores the intersection between design, technology and journalism. He's also the initiator of Junior Lab, a hack-camp to launching in spring 2015 which introduces hardware, software, playing and innovating with tech to 8-12 year old kids.
Dennis Elbers is a curator and lecturer with an interest for the social relevance and impact of visual culture (graphic design, photography and digital arts). In various forms he explores and discusses the current state of visual culture in relation to contemporary social phenomena with creators and audience. As an organiser of public cultural events including festivals, exhibitions, lectures and workshops he creates platforms offering artistic development and debate for designers and their audience. In a playful and interactive way he likes to challenge the audience to reflect on their perception and discover what they really see.
Ehmann and Elbers collaborate since 2012 when they co-curated 'Small Stories Bigger Picture', an exhibition about visual storytelling that matters. In 2014 they developed 'Resolute - Design Changes', an exhibition about the shift from activism to activation graphic designers are dealing with. Both exhibitions premiered at the bi-annual Graphic Design Festival Breda and currently tour Europe.
Ehmann and Elbers will talk about how they create an interface to discuss the way designers and audience deal with social responsible graphic matter. The conference is organised by Design Friends in the framework of the exhibition Resolute - Design Changes.
All our talks are for free (whether you are a member or not), held in english, at the auditorium of the MUDAM (the "Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean") in Luxembourg.
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