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Event

27.01.2021

Design × Patronship

Design Dialogues

with James Mair (UK) & Christophe Urbain (BE), moderated by Liv Vaisberg (NL)

The conversation Design x Patronship is part of the exhibition 10 Years Muller Van Severen. In Dialogue with the Collection currently on view in Design Museum Gent. In the exhibition, the 10-year journey of Muller Van Severen is shown by means of 10 key figures who have influenced their development. These 10 persons, including James Mair, can be considered as patrons or contemporary patrons in the broad interpretation of the word.

The most elementary definition describes a patron as 'a person or organisation that supports another'. Today, in our country, this role is usually taken on by the government in the form of providing grants to artists and designers to finance their practice. But the value of private individuals and organisations - ranging from gallerists and design distributors to collectors - should not be underestimated. By supporting them in various ways, such as providing a platform, a network and financial support, giving them commissions or just a listening ear, they act as catalysts within the career development of designers.

Liv Vaisberg, co-owner of design fair Collectible and the new Rotterdam art platform Huidenclub, will have a conversation with James Mair, owner of the London design showroom Viaduct, and Christophe Urbain, co-founder of the Ghent-based gallery Atelier Ecru. Central to the talk is the relationship between patrons and designers. Can a gallerist or distributor do more for his protégés than just manage and promote their work? How does such a collaboration come about and take place? And what is the importance of these modern patrons today? The speakers give their insights from their personal experience and practice.

Design x Patronship is part of the curated lecture series Design Dialogues organised by the Design Department of KASK & Conservatorium and Design Museum Gent. Distinctive voices from the broad field of design are invited to reflect on the role and future of design in a changing world. Each lecture is a critical dialogue around a theme and concludes with an open discussion between the speakers and the audience. After a whirlwind first edition, we are heading for a new series of in-depth talks. The concept has been slightly modified: young talent now gets carte blanche to invite an experienced expert for an inspiring dialogue. Our mission remains unchanged: to provide engaging perspectives that could help us meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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