Sun 10.10.21 / 11am to 5pm


Neubad Pool, Bireggstrasse 36

In this year's symposium, international designers will discuss the festival theme Designing Identities in three thematic blocks and contextualise their own projects and research interests.

The Power of Identity

For some practitioners, the personal, the political and the professional identity intertwine. This panel discusses the relationships between these different identities. What roles do they have within practices, projects, self-organisation and aesthetics? How do designers use these identities as means to define themselves, divert (the) discipline and empower communities?

The queer intersectional feminist platform and community Futuress builds on feminism, design and politics to disseminate articles, organise workshops and lectures and connect designers. The shape-shifting cultural worker Clara Balaguer operates under aliases including The OCD (RIP 2010-2018), Hardworking Goodlooking and To Be Determined. She uses these assumed identities to explore a wide range of ideas including vernacular design, decolonisation and forms of criticality. Finally, Charlotte Rohde gives the audience a glimpse into her practice, which is rooted in her research on letters as an extension of the body and deals with hyperfemininity, hydrofeminism and (self-)control.


Futuress (international)

Clara Balaguer (Rotterdam), online

Charlotte Rohde (Amsterdam)

A New Sense of Identity: Caring with Graphic Design

The term “care” seems to come up everywhere nowadays. It has been at the forefront of recent debates. Care plays a crucial role in how we relate to and collaborate with each other and our environment. One might argue that collaboration and therefore care are among the key components to tackle the social and environmental issues we are facing.

Care and notions of caring for and with have not yet played a significant role in design education as a professional skill or a social responsibility. On the contrary: We foster competition and define the kind of practices and visual norms that are acceptable or valuable. What if the ideas of empathy, care, listening and collaboration became central to our design community and education today? What would happen if we opened up to pluriversal design practices in our community and beyond?

In this panel our guests stand for a new understanding of community, opening up spaces and discussions to connect rather than to compete. We start off with Evening Class, a self-organised education initiative exploring a range of themes, like unionising design practices, post-capitalist desire and the commons. Johanna Burai is a vibrant designer from Stockholm who not only brings more joy and colour into our lives but through graphic “love letters” celebrates her fellow peers and invisible communities.  The panel will be completed by Graphic Support Group, a podcast hosted by James Chae and Drew Litowitz discussing not only graphic design but addressing anxieties, past traumas and spiritual mantras with an array of prolific practitioners. 


Evening Class (London)

Johanna Burai (Stockholm, London)

Graphic Support Group (New York, Seoul), online

Designed Identities: The Studio Voice

How do designers build their own identity, position themselves on the market and define their practices? This panel focuses on the way designers develop a studio voice over time. While some adopt a conscious identity, others let it develop organically and gradually through commissions and self-initiated projects over time. On this panel, three studios with very different approaches present their identities.

Europium is a creative consultation and art direction duo based in Paris founded by a photographer and a graphic designer. Actual Source is a design studio, editor, publisher and bookstore based in Provo, Utah and active internationally. Finally, Dexter Sinister is a duo based between New York and London whose work exists at the intersection of graphic design, publishing and contemporary art.


Europium (Paris)

Actual Source (Provo), online

Dexter Sinister (New York, Glasgow)

The symposium will take place at Neubad and will also be live streamed online on Zoom. Some of the guests cannot be present on site and will therefore participate digitally.

Corona Protection Measures

A valid covid certificate and ID must be presented to attend the symposium.


Tickets are available at Neubad or online (limited number of seats). Tickets for the livestream are available online.

Organisation / Moderation

Isabel Seiffert (designer and lecturer, Zurich) and Jonas Berthod (designer, design researcher and lecturer, London)


syndicom – Gewerkschaft Medien und Kommunikation