Founded in 2011 in the wake of the Design2context institute, © is an autonomous institute for critical design research and a transdisciplinary international network of people who imagine and conceptualize a better world. It brings together urban planners, designers, graphic designers, architects, landscape designers, anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and other design theoreticians and practitioners, as well as citizens with expert knowledge of specific locations and customs, alongside university institutions and associations. © is developing a number of university projects, such as research on the visibility and invisibility of international organizations, as well as parallel actions and projects related to design with more civic aspirations.
- © works as an independant association and an envolving network of renowned professionals: designers, architects, sociologists, political scientists, geographers, urban planners, etc. The network is a platform to exchange knowledge of expertise and to explore common potentials. © organises courses as for example the Cas Civic Design at the Head in Geneva (Haute école d’art et de design), and is developping researches and projects in different domains connected with the city and works on publications.
- The city of today is confronted with a lot of challenges without a proper solution or the solution cannot dissolve every problem or is not really answering on the real problematic of the lack of civism. Violence, xenophobia, vandalism or abuse: all effects of a unsatisfied social together where it is expected that a designer who is working in the neighbourhood can find probably a solution. Finally it is quite easy to act on these dead public places and to make them livable.
- © is opening the discussion focused on the design of objects not just as isolated object repeated identical a million of times but focused on the design in the context, in situ created by the social reality in the neighbourhood. There are a lot of new problematics emerging – the relation between design and the evolution of a contemporary urban space, in context of its social, ecological and politic aspects. Design to remain modest can animate the discusssion and treat the equal to the equal with those who are planning the city. Measuring the neighbourhood, timeframes, dematerialisation, we are coming up with other questions as the urban planner. And thats the interesting point.
(Extract interview with Ruedi Baur in Le Temps Geneva, july 2011.)