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Archipelago Team
Letter from Archipelago

Dear reader,

We are excited to welcome you to Archipelago, which will be presented through hybrid digital and physical formats. In May, the live broadcast will begin, staged from a series of local spaces in Geneva and interwoven with dispatches from across the globe. As 2021 begins, we invite you to reflect during a time that seems more troubled and fractious than ever. How can design discourse be more archipelagic, embracing a multiplicity of questions and perspectives?

This line of inquiry began as a series of conversations initiated between two Geneva schools of design, HEPIA and HEAD. Since 2018, students and faculty from both institutions have worked diligently to envision and organize the conceptual and physical spaces of Archipelago, collaborating with a diverse team of graphic designers, fabricators, and scenographers. The effort is advised by members of the faculty of both schools as well as a network of educators, curators, and theorists from around the world. Our crucial final participant is you, members of the public, and we encourage you to reach out by writing to us or submitting to our call for proposals, available here.

The intention of Archipelago is to gather voices within the design disciplines to speculate on the future of design work along a set of thematics. We will begin by questioning existing paradigms within the disciplines of architecture, landscape, and interior design, followed by an examination of emergent topics within and across each field. Archipelago concludes with a discussion of discourse’s methods and modes of practice.

Although our hope was to invite everybody to Geneva this April, we adapted our vision given the uncertainties of the pandemic. Working with the HEAD and HEPIA, we reimagined the event for a virtual audience, in a form that we believe surpasses the intentions of our original plans. Now, Archipelago will be fully accessible for all to participate in while still being firmly rooted in Geneva.

The event will produce recordings, writings, and a publication. In anticipation, this blog will serve as a running record of the journey leading up to May and will feature interviews and articles from the panelists and contributors that support Archipelago.

Eagerly looking forward to sharing and exchanging,

The Archipelago Team

Image: Navigation chart (mattang), probably 19th or early 20th century C.E., Marshall Islands, Micronesia, 75.5 cm © Trustees of the British Museum