Highlights & Puns EXD'11/LISBOA

For someone who took as a research interest 'objects vs. le joie de vivre', sure had high expectations of a design week titled "Useless". However, aside from countless exhibited interpretations, questions, statements, research of designers and artists on subjects like 'uselessness', 'conspicuous consumption', 'the obsolete', what personally stroke as most interesting was the actual space itself - giving a useless space some utility, even if only temporarily.

The beautiful and unoccupied 17th century Court House, imposes the eery feeling of a place to judge and be judged.  Intentionally or not, this was the best underlying pun - to hold the First Symposium on Creative Economy in an old court room. A room full of different professions, different generations, brilliant international and local guest speakers, and the same interest in moving forward the economy, creatively.

"How many designers are in Portuguese Government?" "If the Government wants growth, the only answer is creativity" - Sir John Sorrell, President of London Design Festival and ex-president of UK Design Council.

"I want less books to be made, but better books to be made" Workshop and chat with book cover design hero David Pearson -  the beautiful book covers series, Penguin Great Ideas, designer artifacts.

"The death of identity and the rise of personality" Simon of London agency Figtree presented their very cool project The Generous Org - which online has a different layout from the one of Simon's presentation, I wonder what made them soften the tone.  Personally I think the ball-gripping humour is brave and appropriate of a creative agency, but a positive way to engage audience to read on the message.