RECIPROCITY design liège is the new name of the International Design Biennial in Liège, which will take place for the sixth time from 5 – 28 October 2012. Initiated as a city-wide event in 2002 by Paul-Emile Mottard, Provincial Deputy in charge of Culture in Liège and Chairman of the OPMA (Office Provincial des Métiers d’Art), the growing strength of the Biennial has seen the organizers assign general management of the project to Wallonie Design and artistic direction to independent curator Giovanna Massoni. This 2012 edition is also supported by the Region of Wallonia, Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the Maastricht 2018 Foundation. RECIPROCITY design liège comes within the framework of the Maastricht & Euregio’s candidacy campaign for European Capital of Culture 2018 and within the one of Liège EXPO 2017.
RECIPROCITY is a declaration that underlines some of the ethical values that define design: exchange, respect, generosity. Social design is the general framework for this and following editions of the Biennial, it focuses attention on the link between design and society, expressing a state of mind; actions that encourage the sharing of experiences and know-how; and ultimately the social processes of change.
As a laboratory and showcase of ‘best practices’, RECIPROCITY gathers together numerous local, cross-border (Euregio Meuse-Rhine) and international participants. Involving professionals, the media and a public audience, highlighting design as an agent for innovation and for social and civic cohesion is a choice that positions the Walloon event at the centre of an international debate about the role of design.
Design as Methodology
Social innovation is a process of change where ideas emerge from different people directly involved in the solution research. The “inventors” are groups of people (creative communities) and the results are forms of organization (collaborative services). The role of design and of the designers is very important: increase the scale, create a systemic effect, recognize and translate the potential of a social project into a new prototype of product-service and create a frame which rationalizes the intentions of local actions to make them feasible and accessible to the public level. To do so, the “designer” should no longer be regarded as an isolated and specialized professional figure but indeed as a variety of persons who work together on the co-creation of more mature, practicable and repeatable solutions”. (from Ezio Manzini, Desis Newsletter 3: Design as agent of sustainable changes).
The ambition of RECIPROCITY is to set up a programme capable of spreading the change debate and of creating a series of scenarios for the implementation of sustainable solutions.
“Design as an agent for innovation and for social and civic cohesion is the red thread of RECIPROCITY”.
Paul-Emile Mottard, Provincial Deputy for Culture and Chairman of the OPMA.