On September 9, 2021, Klasse Klima participated in the Supersalone workshop The Tomorrow of the Temporary, a live-streamed roundtable conversation to exchange ideas on responsible and non-extractive design approaches to conceiving, creating and building gatherings such as trade fairs and events.
The talk held at the Italian Embassy, Berlin, was part of the 2021 edition of the Italian design fair Salone del Mobile, the Supersalone, an attempt to reinvent the model of the fair in the context of the global ecological crisis and the global health emergency.
Given these harsh realities, Klasse Klima emphasized that design, as well as trade fairs, must be fundamentally questioned. In the climate crisis, it is an urgent conceptual challenge to critically revisit all infrastructures and institutions of capitalism and extractivism. In this context, trade fairs are especially delicate sites. As historians and scientists agree, the main cause of the climate crisis are the European and American industrialization processes until today. As we all know, trade fairs derive from that tradition and have practically and intellectually reproduced and strengthened the current global economic framework. As the climate crisis is further escalating, the question is not how to make fairs more sustainable. Rather, trade fairs must be seen as objects of a total redesigning, a process which must affect privileges and power structures.
During the discussion, Klasse Klima asked whether trade fairs can change so profoundly as to become places for presenting and bringing into circulation truly climate-just economic concepts, and only secondly, for envisioning and sharing the corresponding objects. This implies that design must strive not only for innovation, but also for a reduction of production and the immediate quitting of climate-destructive practices and infrastructures. It further means that designers must do everything to support a radical and quick transformation, and that they must discuss how ways of designing affect frontline communities and ecosystems. It also implies that at events such as the workshop The Tomorrow of the Temporary, the most essential voices shall no longer be missing. Klasse Klima used its privilege to speak at this roundtable to call trade fairs and the design field to undertake this fundamental economical, conceptual and political transformation, even if it eventually threatens the very existence of the model of the fair and similar infrastructures.
We discussed with:
Francesco Alfonsi — Director of the Italian Trade Agency (ICE)
Markus Bader — Raumlabor
Dr. Claudia Banz — Curator of Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin
Ludwig Engel — Futurologist and Urbanist
Anna-Luise Lorenz — Artist, Designer and Researcher
(Julia Rosenstock, Lena Schubert)