The Double Death of Welfare and the Nation State

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Invited by it’s curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, we took over the Swiss pavilion this week as part of the Swiss Summer School program “Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price – A stroll through a fun palace

Every week, from the opening of the Biennale until October 2014, another institution is invited to spend a week in the Pavilion, bringing their research on some of the most interesting changes that are happening worldwide to the landscape. At the end of the week, the institutes will leave behind the work they have developed, which will be used as a toolbox for subsequent visiting institutions, contributing to a growing archive of the Swiss Summer School.

Together with the students of our graduation studio New Utopias on the ruins of the welfare state, we will use this week to take a closer look at decentralization – the cross-cutting theme of Design as Politics this year. In the studio we emphasize the current progressive dispersion of the services once centralized by the welfare state, and the utopian thinking needed to create an alternative to that. Another angle of the same problem is the political configuration of the nation state. Inspired by the Scottish referendum, and being in the Veneto region -which also has a strong desire of autonomy– we will explore the Europe of regions under the heading  ‘The Double Death of Welfare and the Nation State.’ 

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