An exhibition about the revolution in contemporary design. "Adhocracy" highlights achievements by makers who are guided by the will to change the system by changing the way they make things themselves.
"Adhocracy" at the Onassis Stegi in Athens is the continuation of the research started for the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial in 2012, curated by Joseph Grima and associate curators Ethel Baraona Pohl, Elian Stefa, and Pelin Tan. The "Adhocracy" exhibition has also been presented in New York (New Museum, 2013) and London (LimeWharf, 2013).
The access and use of new technologies has gone from being an inaccessible realm to a mundane reality; and nowadays we are witnessing a hype of people perkily using them to make things. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the unlimited production of identical, increasingly sophisticated goods that required specialized professionals to produce them. We are now witnessing a “New Industrial Revolution” based on limited production and prototypes; a movement fueled by a cultural shift that drives people to share designs and collaborate with others in online communities; with digital desktop tools and affordable manufacturing devices. The entry barriers that have been firmly in place since the last Revolution are now being swept away by access to information and tools that can also be modified. This new paradigm does not need big production lines or factories with highly standardized industrial processes. It is enough to have generating work spaces for interaction, where the ideas of citizens who have training or experience can mix, cross-fertilize and spread. Rather than big factories and the bureaucracy that the system has built to control itself, we are now feeding self-organizing networks that are not afraid to learn by doing, and even to challenge the values of the capitalist model and the absolute truths proclaimed by a financial system that has proved unable to regulate itself.
The "Adhocracy" exhibition and symposium at the Onassis Stegi in Athens will be focused on the relation of design and society within a global approach, while at the same time highlighting the dynamics of the local art, architecture and design scene. The economic and political context of Greece during the current period of deep economic and social crisis provides the appropriate framework in order to reveal universal and trans-local conditions of our current time and future. This is an opportunity to objectively evaluate the actual critical circumstances and their effects on city and society that concern all of us whatever our geographic location.Going beyond the notion of "Do it yourself" and the trendiness of "Tactical Urbanism", "Adhocracy" highlights achievements by makers who are guided by the will to change the system by changing the way they make things themselves. It includes examples of makers whose work embraces open source design, and particularly emphasizes the idea of the commons in relation to production. The place for production has been extended from the workshop to the street and the city. The process of design and the way that we define a product is affected not only by labor conditions but also by the development of new alternative pedagogies. While focusing on the process rather than on the final object, it is possible to subvert the economic system based on consumerism. The "Adhocracy" exhibition in Athens does not only reveal the current alternative ways of production process and the social-economic realities of design but aims to share concrete results and methodologies, realms of thinking and critical understanding of labor, product, and education.