Designers: Andrea Forti and Eleonora Dal Farra for Alcarol, breadedEscalope, Stella Cadente and Florian Claudel, Estudio Campana, Vlasta Kubušová and Miroslav Král for crafting plastics!, Sebastian Cox, Maarten de Ceulaer for Nilufar and Victor Hunt Gallery, Foekje Fleur, Martino Gamper, Ami Drach and Dov Ganchrow, Marco Iannicelli, Johannes Knoops, Fernando Laposse, Sam Linders, ll’atelier, Lock Furniture, Alberto Meda for Tubes, Tuomas Markunpoika, Lucia Massari, Daisuke Motogi, Lucas Muñoz, Luca Nichetto, Odd Matter Studio, Daniele Papuli for Dilmos, Jorge Penadés, Federico Peri for Nilufar, Barbara Schweizer, Birgit Severin, Studio Furthermore, Studio Oink, Ginevra Taccola, Tellurico, Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw for Transnatural Label, Johan Viladrich, Zieta Prozessdesign.
Curators: Luca Berta, Francesca Giubilei and Alice Stori Liechtenstein.
The curatorial theme of the 2018 edition of the Venice Design Biennial was Design After Darwin. Adapted to Adaptability. The theme aimed to showcase design’s ability to be receptive to alternative uses as the function multiplies and stratifies, contrary to a notion of any singular predetermined use. In a society where function is continuously evolving, design becomes an active component in the transformation of everyday life, capable of simultaneously reinventing the pre-existing imaginings of the past and interacting with the unpredictable paths of the future.
Within this theme, there were four concepts through which to interpret and comprehend the works. Each proposing alternative approaches to design and establishing diverse forms of interaction between object and user:
Multiplicity: Objects that are multifunctional and able to adapt to different uses. This multi-functionality may be intentional in the design of the work or it may result from an emergence of new contextual needs, representing the evolutionary notion of exaptation.
Reconfiguration: Objects that communicate a potential reconstruction of the space in which they are placed, due to their presence, articulation or position. These objects have a transformative power that reshapes the habits and spatial relationships around them.
Reuse: Objects that utilize unusual or innovative materials suited to a specific function, objects that make use of recycled materials through recycling and up-cycling, or alternatively, objects that were designed using parts or the entirety of other objects thus transforming the previous function.
Transfiguration: Objects that satisfy a specific function, but that incorporate materials and/or forms illustrating an investment in an aesthetic transfiguration and therefore elevating the object to a piece of consistently adaptable design based on its visual beauty.
The group exhibition was the fulcrum of the Venice Design Biennial 2018, and the point of departure for the Design Walks.