Of art
and technology
Braga, Portugal

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar + Virginia Tassinari

Designing and Imagining in Dark Times

Reitoria da Universidade do Minho

What is the power of imagination and design in dark times? Virginia Tassinari (Italy), philosopher and researcher in the field of participatory design and fiction and design for social innovation and activism, author of the book “Designing in Dark Times: An Arenditian Lexicon” (2020), will open this meeting with a sharing about the relevance of design as a political act. Delfina Fantini van Ditmar (Chile), researcher in the area of political and socio-ecological implications of artificial intelligence applied to bodies, houses and cities and professor at the Royal College of Art (UK), will lead us in a reflection on the action of design in the context of climate emergency and the need to contribute to regenerative futures. This meeting will also include the need to consider a situated knowledge, opening the debate to artistic practices and to the urgency of practices guided by an ethics of matter and care.

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar is a design researcher and lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Design Products + Futures Programme. Delfina has a BA in Biology and completed a year of an MFA at Konstfack University in Stockholm. She also holds a PhD from the RCA with a thesis entitled ‘The IdIoT’. Delfina has a transdisciplinary background linking design research, critical algorithmic studies, architecture and ecology. Her practice encourages a critical and reflective approach towards technological ‘smartness’and ecological futures. She has been a critic and visiting lecturer in several institutions, including The Bartlett, Architectural Association, Goldsmiths, University of Brighton, Manchester School of Art, Canterbury University, Liverpool University, Critical Media Lab Basel and TU Berlin, among others. In 2021 she was selected as one of the Future Observatory Design Researcher in Residency (DriR) at the Design Museum in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The programme aims to find solutions to the most pressing societal and environmental issues bringing design researchers together with the networks to help them achieve the nation’s environmental goals
Delfina Fantini van Ditmar + Virginia Tassinari
Delfina Fantini van Ditmar + Virginia Tassinari

Virginia Tassinari’s work focuses on researching how philosophy can contribute to the contemporary design research discourse. After having been a Post-Doc Marie Curie Seal of Excellence Researcher at Politecnico di Milano (IT), she is currently researcher and lecturer at Politecnico di Milano, within the POLIMI Desis Lab (IT) and at the LUCA School of Arts (Product Design, EMA Master)/KULeuven (RAAD) (B). She is a visiting scholar at Parsons, the New School of Design in New York (USA) and a design researcher at the foresight and design studio Pantopicon in Antwerp (B). She is aguest lecturer at Nîmes University (F) and Maastricht University (NL). Virginia has been a board member of Cumulus Association and is currently a board member of the International Coordination Committee of DESIS Network (Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability), an international network within which she is also co-initiator with Ezio Manzini of the DESIS Philosophy Talks, a series of discussions on design research & philosophy. Together with Eduardo Staszowski, she recently published “Designing in Dark Times. An Arendtian Lexicon” (Bloomsbury, 2020).