Angela Rui is an Italian editor and curator based in Milan and Rotterdam, working in design theory and criticism. She was design editor for Abitare magazine (2011-2013), is currently writing for Italian and international design magazines, and curated the editorial project for Icon Design magazine (Mondadori, 2015), where she continues to work as contents consultant. She recently curated the 2015 edition of Operae, the independent design festival based in Turin, under the title “HERE/NOW. Under Present Effect”.
Rui has a particular fondness for the humanistic aspect of design: with “Meeting Mirabilia” she managed a series of live interviews from the studios of LiveOn4G (Telecom) to discuss the use of poetry, dreams, uncertainty, nature, and desire as new platforms for design (2014). For the Triennale Design Museum she curated the exhibition and catalogue “Ugo la Pietra. Disequilibrating Design” (2014), and for the Milan Design Film Festival (2014) co-wrote the short film “Seven Billions”, dedicated to the poetics of Andrea Branzi. She is passionate about the design counterculture, she taught at the School of Design (Politecnico di Milano) until 2015 and she is training future designers enrolled in the Master of Interior Design program at NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan.
Maja Vardjan is an architect and curator. Following her time as creative director of the T5 Project Space gallery and the architecture editor of Ambient magazine, she now works as curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO). She is the author of the publication “Design in Dialogue” and curated the “Silent Revolutions: Contemporary Design in Slovenia” touring exhibition (MAO, 2011-2015). She also curated “Under the Common Roof”, an exhibition on modern public buildings drawing from MAO’s archive (MAO, 2013) and has served as a contributor and editor of several books and catalogues.
Maja Vardjan deserves much of the credit for the major changes and overall success of Ljubljana’s recent iterations of the Biennial of Design. Together with Jan Boelen and Cvetka Požar she co-curated the 24th Biennial of Design, BIO 50. In honour of BIO’s 50th anniversary, the team managed to change the focus and path of Europe’s oldest design biennial and to influence the traditional thinking behind and perception of the role of international biennials today. Most recently, she curated the exhibition Saša J. Maechtig: Systems, Structures, Strategies (MAO, 2015).
BIO – The Biennial of Design in Ljubljana is an international platform for new approaches in design. BIO was founded back in 1964, making it the first design biennial in Europe. Witnessing the many shifts and changes of the last 50 years, BIO has seen design transition from its birth at the crossroads of industrialization and modernism to a discipline that permeates all layers of life and human endeavour.
Today BIO is structured as a long-term collaborative process, where teams of designers and multidisciplinary agents develop alternatives to established systems. BIO works as a testing ground, where design is employed as a tool to question and improve our daily life, among different and multidisciplinary design approaches that touch systems, production, services, scientific research, humanistic issues, unexpected conditions for the production of our habitat. The diverse array of topics resonates with both local and global demands, with its comprehensive projects aimed at creating resilient structures that develop over time, often beyond the duration of the Biennial.
The Biennial of Design is organised by MAO, Slovenia’s national Museum of Architecture and Design.
Matevž Čelik, Director, Biennial of Design / Museum of Architecture and Design
Maja Šuštaršič, Head of Biennial of Design
Anja Zorko, Head of Marketing
Saša Štefe, Špela Vidmar, Project Manager
Pika Domenis, Ana Kuntarič, Public Relations
FARAWAY, SO CLOSE
Angela Rui and Maja Vardjan, Curators
Claudia Mainardi, Assistant Curator
Mojca Mihailovič, Design Facilitator
Grupa Ee, Visual Identity, Graphic Design
Goran Medjugorac, Illustrations
Delfino Sisto Legnani, Photos
24th Biennial of Design
18. 9.–7. 12. 2014