In which world do you want to live in? – Lecture with Astrid Kury

In this lecture Astrid Kury, director of Akademie Graz, talks about how important collaborations can be or why we should collaborate more as designers, artists, cultural institutions and so on. By the way the „Akademie Graz“ is a cultural association founded in 1987 by Emil Breisach. They focus on art & society and realize art projects and exhibitions.

At the beginning Astrid Kury asked the question: „In which world do you want to live in? In an egoistic, competitive, isolated one or in one where we share our ideas to get to the best outcome?“ This sentence really catched me, because I’m open for more collaborations and I wanted to hear more about her insights.

For Astrid Kury collaboration has many advantages:

  • you can create unique solutions with different expertises
  • It includes working on democracy
  • it increases social relevance and a social impact
  • It created a coherence in complexity

Although she said that at the beginning the collaboration process can be difficult, because of the need of much more communication than normally and you have to make a clear structure that everyone can work easily.

As an example she showed the project „Linguistic Landscape Graz“ where visitors can explore 150 languages of Graz. By exploring linguistic landscapes you see that linguistic diversity is of great value – both for the individual as well as for society as a whole. She explained how  integrating the audience in the whole process had an great impact on the project. Together with the audience they collected imagery and language samples, which were put into the exhibition. It was also nice to see that kids of primary school took part where they could put their favorite objects into an exhibition frame and labeled it with different languages they learned at school. 

At this point of the lecture I could see how important the participation of the audience is to increase the quality of an exhibition and share the knowledge of many others.  In the cultural field participation has also an impact on engaging more people in their creative activity and also to empower minorities. 

She also talked about „inclusion“, it refers to the full integration of people with disabilities in the society. Inclusion is the vision of a society without the barriers to the diversity of human beings. La casa the Carlota & Friends is for example a design studio in Barcelona where people with down-syndrome or autism live their creativity to the fullest. They create collages, paintings, drawn typography for the the clients. I think this place is really amazing, because their work is so authentic, it’s really original and so creative. I wish that I could create stuff so unrestrained like they did in the video Astrid Kury showed us.

To sum it up, I can say that I totally agree that collaborations can change the potential of projects and also in our communication design field it can broaden your horizon if you work with different people with different expertises. I think it would be nice if design studios in Graz would collaborate more often to experience new perspectives and also to see that its not always about the competition game.