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maat conversa talk plastic design
maat conversa talk plastic design
16/03/2023 - 16/03/2023

Are Plastics Remaking our Future?

With Anniina Koivu, Maria Elvira Callapez, Daniel Caramelo

Plastics have arrived to transform our daily lives as no other material has. Originally associated with convenience, progress, and even revolution, plastics have lost its utopian appeal these days. Plastic is everywhere, but what is most striking is the waste associated with it, a key factor in the global environmental crisis.
In this roundtable discussion, Mea Hoffmann, Maria Elvira Callapez, and Daniel Caramelo, moderated by Anniina Koivu, reflect on alternatives to plastic and how a call for a change of attitude might be the solution to move away from our current disposable society and promote more responsible resource management.

Anniina Koivu is a copywriter, curator, consultant, and design teacher based in Milan and Lausanne. She works across a number of fields, from curatorship to art direction, product development, and editorial and research projects. Her clients include Kvadrat, Arita 2016, Iittala, HDW, Vitra, Phi Foundation, and the Shorefast Foundation, where she is design director of the Smaller House Furniture collection for the Fogo Island Workshops, in Canada.
In 2018, she co-founded U-Joints, a research project and exhibition series that looks at the connections between architecture and design. U-Joints — A taxonomy of connections was published in 2022. As part of Supersalone curatorial team for Milano Salone del Mobile 2021, Anniina developed The Lost Graduation Show, a major retrospective on graduation projects from around the world. She has written and edited numerous publications, including the monograph Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Works (Phaidon, 2011) and Vico Magistretti: Stories of Objects (ECAL/Triest, 2020). In 2021, she founded the knitwear brand Koivu. She is Head of Master Theory at ECAL/University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Maria Elvira Callapez holds since 2002 a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science. From 2004 to 2007, she was a Post Doc at the University of California, Berkeley, where she will be a visiting scholar until August 2023. Her interests and publications focus, among other things, on the history of chemical engineering teaching and plastics in Portugal. She has been a member of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) since 2011. She was Principal Investigator of the awarded research project “Contributions to a History of Plastics in Portugal”, funded by FCT. The exhibition Plasticity – A History of Plastics in Portugal at the Leiria Museum, a result of her project “The Triumph of Bakelite – Contributions to a History of Plastics in Portugal”, was awarded the 2019 Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibitions, among other renowned distinctions. She is the Principal Investigator of the project “Metamorphoses of plastics – the reality and multiple approaches to a material”, distinguished by FCT in July 2022.

Daniel Caramelo is an industrial designer, awarded on different occasions with the Red Dot Award, IF Design Award, German Design Award, and Good Design Award, with products developed for different clients. His inventions are referenced in more than 20 published patents. He graduated in Equipment Design from the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon (FBAUL). Awarded the Gulbenkian Prize and the FLAD Young Designer Prize, he began his professional life in Lisbon before moving to Barcelona, where he collaborated with the company Escofet and the studios of Martín Azúa and Diego Fortunato, working on products developed for chef Ferran Adriá, and for companies like Camper, Droog, and Nanimarquina. With Bárbara Fachada, he started the LINHABRANCA project, designing urban furniture, set design for Modalisboa, and contributions to experimentadesign. In Portugal, he founded Diverge Design, a company acquired by the Nabeiro Group. Together with Agostinho Carvalho and Sónia Josué, he founded WeADD, a company focused on product innovation for clients such as AAA, Prozis, Teka, among others.

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