Workshop and Talk with Selena Savic

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Unpleasant Design Workshop and Talk with Selena Savic

Event Location: Or Gallery – 555 Hamilton St., Vancouver

Workshop: Wednesday February 28, 2 – 5 pm
Space limited to 12 participants. RSVP to
Meet at Or Gallery, 555 Hamilton St., Vancouver

Public Talk: Wednesday February 28, 6 – 7 pm
Or Gallery, 555 Hamilton St. Vancouver

Richmond Art Gallery in partnership with Esker Foundation presents a participatory workshop and discussion considering urban design strategies in the city. Unpleasant Design is a design phenomenon that promotes social control through discomfort, pain, and persuasion. It raises the value of urban space by preventing specific use scenarios such as sleeping on a park bench or loitering in a shopping mall. In this talk, Selena Savić will show some “stars” of unpleasant design and focus on patterns in the design of public space where these silent agents replace the need for supervision and condition our behaviour.

At the Unpleasant Design workshop, participants will use persuasive and coercive design techniques to invent designs that target specific social strata or behaviors in public space. The workshop will include an Unpleasant City Tour as a way to identify existing designs and possible new targets. We will brainstorm about possible unpleasant designs specific to Calgary. Finally, we will craft Unpleasant Design prototypes that the participants can consider implementing in public spaces of the future. The workshop will be followed with a public talk by Selena Savic at 6pm.

Selena Savić is a designer and researcher. She holds a joint PhD by EPFL in Lausanne and IST in Lisbon, with a background in architecture (Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade) and media design (Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam). She is currently a postdoc fellow at the department of Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics, TU Vienna, Austria. Her hybrid design practice forms productive connections between the world of tangible experiences and seamless technologies and infrastructures. She publishes extensively on the role of digital technologies and infrastructures in creation and organisation of space, particularly in the context of architectural design and public spaces. She is the co-author of the book Unpleasant Design.