MDES 23 - Kitty, Design Fiction Club and Drag Queens, and Paris all in White

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Kitty making visual thinking magic during our midterms

This week kicked off with our thesis midterms. Compressing all our super important and highly complex writing into 5 minutes is actually a challenge. Even though we took all in all 2 hours longer than intended it is a great way for peer-reviewing the work we’ve done so far and to steer the upcoming road to go. My friend Kitty – now future studies graduate – who already visited us in September 2017 is in town. She turns all the presentations into beautiful strong images with her visual thinking brain. We end this day with some good pizza and wine at the little Italien place, we call home. At Sette you enjoy a wonderful burrata with the finest techno beats (they are not paying me.)

Tuesday is another whole thesis day for me, which is much needed. In the evening it’s the monthly meeting of Design Fiction Club at Gaité Lyrique. This times’ topic ‘Design Fiction and Marketing’ takes a critical dive into the capitalistic application of design fiction and its real-world feasibility. Benoît, my thesis advisor, hosts the roundtable this time. Since my French is absolutely not enough I am more than grateful for the images and live notes. The bar next door is actually where the interesting stories from all these design fiction rockstars unveil themselves. Of course, Benoît pushes me to also talk about my project. A very good exercise and I’m happy that also the design fiction pros here give encouraging feedback. Right on track, yeah!

Wednesday is MakeSense-day and it is always nice to start the day in this eclectic and warm atmosphere. We meet up individually with Sabine to get our practical work started. This means for me curating a fictional exhibition about fictional law cases about basic income. Further recording an audioguide for this fictional exhibition. Well, let’s see where we’re heading there… In the afternoon I’m meeting up with Manon. She is a student at SciencePo and currently taking the very first degrowth class. With her expertise (and enthusiasm!) I want to find out how basic income may affect a transition towards a degrowth society. Meaning a society that does not depend on economic growth. With my brother’s GoPro around my chest we are sipping Cappuccino and imagining the future of storefronts in this future scenario. Let me tell you so much: we won’t see handbags for sale anymore in our future construct. Before we’re heading to the Hitchhiker-Association-Party in St. Germain, Manon takes me on a tour at SciencePo. The following evening is full of inspiring talks about environmental policies, feminism and well, Paris.

Thursday feels to me like the longest day on earth. And this time, we already start one hour earlier than usual with our Intellectual Property Rights class. After four hours of design copyright pitfalls and law cases, we head right into Business Design Studio. With Diane, we construct business plans for our fictional businesses. Where Smarti is calculating the costs for her hydrating ovens to produce edible packaging, Vaila dreams up the Mushroom Lab (wait for it or sign up for the newsletter.) Amy refines her not so fictional business. In the Professional Practice Series, Giorgio Martinoli allows us insights into his world as an art director ranging from high shining fashion magazines to black and white music videos for the band Her. A long day ends for me with some good reads and a cup of tea.

Drag queen show at Madame Arthur is always worth a visit (also great for enriching your French vocab)

Friday is time for Designer’s Social and Ethical Responsibility class with Emilie Prattico. These classes debating about Man vs. Nature and Design Activism tend to soak up all my energy while simultaneously letting me leave the classroom full of inspiration and zest for action – in confusion though. Right after I am meeting with Fabien, who invited me to his office to co-imagine the future of basic income as an impact on the education sector. For two hours we walk through optimistic, pessimistic, probable and unexpected scenarios for the upcoming 30 years. Jazzed up with new ideas and dreams I hop on the metro to meet my friend Til, visiting over from Copenhagen. We spend a weekend full of thoughts and idea bouncing about the economy, society and live in general. The next two days consist of getting together with our wonderful fellow study buddies from uni, ex-roommates from passed exchange semesters dancing at Paris’ finest drag queen shows and the next day drinking pink champagne with two beautiful OECD-renewable-energy-power-women at a dinner soirée; can it get any better? Not so sure about that.

Only the black cat on the roof tops over Paris is missing