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Design × Time

Design Dialogues

with Helga Schmid & Nel Verbeke, moderated by Anna Luyten

Is it already that late? The feeling of constantly being short of time is familiar to all of us. And that feeling only seems to grow. Technological developments are increasingly fragmenting our time, making us seem to be constantly running behind. We discuss this with two designers who, each in their own way, are trying to get a grip on how we deal with time.

Currently, clock and calendar time structure and guide human behaviour. This notion of time stems from our former agro-cultural society, but is still taken for granted in 2023. In her work, German designer/artist and researcher Helga Schmid explores alternative systems of time division that are better attuned to our current physical, mental and social needs.

Belgian designer Nel Verbeke’s work makes us aware of our relationship with time and prompts contemplation and stillness. With her recent series The Architecture of Time, she put forward the idea that a moment in itself deserves its own architecture.

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Dr Helga Schmid (DE) is a London-based artist/designer, researcher and educator. She is a resident at Somerset House and Programme Director Graphic Design Communication Design at London College of Communication. In 2018, she was a Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in London. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including the Serpentine Gallery, the Design Museum, Dia Art Foundation NY, Z33 in Hasselt and V&A Museum. She has received international awards including the Art and Type Directors Award, as well as a Fulbright and DAAD scholarships. In 2020 she has published the book Uchronia: Designing Time.

Nel Verbeke (BE) is a Brussels-based concept designer dedicated to the emotional potential of design. Departing from an in-depth research, in which she looks back as well as ahead and critically reflects on the current zeitgeist, she arrives at situations and objects that both question and transform our relationship to ourselves and to what surrounds us. She materialises her concepts with refined and timeless creations that should be understood as proto-instruments: thoughtful and delicate tools that provoke dedicated acts and, as such, represent proposals for future rituals. Her works remind us of the passage of time, create spaces for introspection and contemplation and invite us to stand still and embrace the emotional ambivalence of our existence rather than to resist it. Nel Verbeke shows her work in collaboration with Dutch Invertuals, BRUT and as a participant of group exhibitions. Nel Verbeke studied Concept Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (NL), following an education in Fine Arts at Luca School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium.

Design Dialogues

Design x Time 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.