BIO 26, Designathon #2: Prototype to Product


For the Biennial of Design we are commissioning six projects. The projects were selected through a designathon process—a three-day intensive, hands-on, sprint event in which curious and motivated people, non-designers and designers alike, collaborated on design challenges.

The 26th Biennial of Design, BIO 26 – Common Knowledge, curated by Austrian design curator and cultural producer Thomas Geisler together with assistant curator Aline Lara Rezende, is taking on one of the greatest challenges of our time: information.
Seventy-eight participants selected through the BIO 26 open call engaged in the second round of selection at Designathon #1, which took place in May in Ljubljana. Nominated in eighteen teams, they had the opportunity to work with prominent designers and knowledge mentors from six different partnering institutions of knowledge production and knowledge transmission in Ljubljana—a library, museum, university, retirement home, botanical garden, and newspaper—to create innovative solutions for the challenges proposed at the designathon.
An international jury of prominent experts — renowned Slovenian innovation scholar Aleš Pustovrh, curator at the Vitra Design Museum Amelie Klein, accomplished writer and director of the Design Museum in London Deyan Sudjic, professor of philosophy and fine art and a senior research tutor at the Royal College of Art in London Johnny Golding and curator at Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana Maja Vardjan — selected the best projects by institution to progress to the next phase.
Designathon #2 took place in MAO between July 12th-14th. All winning teams received special mentorship by distinguished designers and experts, as well as seed money to further develop their ideas and prototypes for the biennial.
What is a Designathon?
The first designathon to commission projects for a design biennial. Combining the creative, entrepreneurial world of startups, tweaking it with a curatorial approach, the BIO26 team crafted a design marathon, in which an interdisciplinary team put their minds and hearts together to solve a design challenge. In an intensive three-day working session, the participants had time to rethink the future of information processing, sharing, and understanding through challenges from established institutions, guardians of our knowledge production and transmission, and designing proposals with passion, creativity, and curiosity.
Efforts from the first designathon were presented at the end of day three and were judged by BIO26’s expert advisory committee for the chance to be one of the six commissioned projects for BIO26. The six best projects won.


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