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Graphic design, exhibition context and curatorial practices: new forms of cultural production is a research project started in 2011 by Giorgio Camuffo, at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Maddalena Dalla Mura has been appointed to conduct research on the topic of the project, starting in January 2012. The working group include Roberto Gigliotti, Hans Höger, Kuno Prey, all professors at the same Faculty. Partners of the project include the Museum of the Image in Breda (NL), the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, and Lungomare Gallery, in Bozen.

The aim of the project is to investigate the relationships of graphic design, and graphic designers, with the exhibition context and with curatorial practices.
In the recent years, graphic designers show a growing interest in exhibiting and curating as means of cultural production, as evidenced not only by their participation in art exhibitions but also by shows that are centered on graphic design and by exhibitions promoted and curated by graphic designers themselves.
What are the implications for the culture of graphic design? How should the engagement of graphic designers in exhibiting and curating be read and discussed with reference to recent debates on the profession and cultural role of the designer? To what degree does this phenomenon differ from what happens in the art worlds? What are the motives driving graphic designers to use the context of the exhibition as a medium of communication, and lead them into curatorial roles? How do graphic designers operate alongside other figures? What discourses and representations of graphic design are built through and around exhibitions?

We will try to answer some of these questions, by combining historical and critical study with case study analysis.

image credit: Emma Dijkman, 2011 (made with tdmkids)

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