Design for a regenerative future
26th May – 29th September 2022 I Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana
The 27th edition of BIO, Europe’s longest standing design biennale (since 1963), staged and held by Ljubljana’s Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the Center for Creativity, will be curated by Jane Withers, a leading design curator, writer, and consultant based in London.
Global expansion and the pursuit of profit at the planet’s expense have precipitated the climate crisis and accelerated a massive imbalance between humanity and the natural world. Super Vernaculars, Bio 27’s central theme, explores a growing and ambitious movement that takes inspiration from vernacular and indigenous architecture and design traditions around the world to shape a radical vision for a more resilient and responsive future.
“I am absolutely delighted to be invited to curate the next edition of Bio and further its ambitions to explore the dialogue between global currents in design and regional impact. Super Vernaculars is a chance to explore a promising movement in contemporary design that looks to vernacular traditions and largely non-western cultures as a playbook for the future. Clearly many of the ways we do things in industrialized economies have fuelled the climate catastrophe, and if we are to engineer a sustainable revolution, we need to adopt a different mindset and values. Growing interest in vernacular practices and TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) is providing a rich seam of inspiration for contemporary designers looking to regenerative systems that live with the earth rather than from it. For Bio 27, the focus will be on exploring how local design teams are responding to and shaping these global narratives in a regional context,” says Jane Withers, curator of BIO 27.
Exploratory, interdisciplinary, and intercultural, Super Vernaculars will not be a conventional design or architecture show. Instead, it is envisaged as a collection of stories told through case studies that demonstrate how these ideas serve as a springboard for contemporary innovation. As well as showcasing projects from different corners of the globe, visitors will encounter a series of live commissions that aim to engage the next generation of designers and citizens, and demonstrate the potential this approach has to address regional and global issues at scale and to rank among the world’s credible contemporary approaches to climate change.
Bio 27 amplifies the biennale’s strategy to reflect on and deepen inquiries into the future while strengthening local impacts. The emphasis will be on design that responds to local needs and context, and commissioned projects will draw on local conditions, resources, and materials. As the environmental impact of hosting international cultural events becomes clear, BIO has embedded a commitment to sustainability in its mission and strives to become a sustainable cultural producer, insisting on an approach that manages and reduces our environmental footprint. The role of design in relation to environmental and climate issues is a common thread that will connect several upcoming editions of the biennale.
The Super Vernaculars exhibition and design commissions hosted in MAO, Ljubljana, in May 2022 will be accompanied by a programme of affiliated events around the city in response to the Super Vernaculars theme. We kindly invite you to join the super vernacular movement and join us in shaping BIO 27 by attending events and participating in the calls that will take place from September 2021 to September 2022.
The Biennial of Design cooperates with the Center for Creativity, which is dedicated to the development of social or entrepreneurial innovations in the co-production of the conceptual and production part of the biennial. The project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund in the Republic of Slovenia.