The Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art is pleased to present the Talk to Me: A Symposium, a series of discussions and presentations by designers, thinkers and writers within and outside of the current exhibition....whether openly and actively or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and whether tangible and intangible, and at all scales—from a spoon to the city, the government, and the Web, and from buildings to communities, social networks, systems, and artificial worlds—they communicate.
The event kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, October 18, with a keynote address by "our [Paola Antonelli & the Design Department's] idols, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of WNYC's Radiolab, the famed radio show that celebrates curiosity and ingenuity, in complete and glorious disregard of prejudice and disciplinary boundaries."
The following day sees a full itinerary of panel discussions, peppered with "Design Snippets" by some of the designers in the exhibition, starting with "Designing and Scriptwriting," an examination of "contemporary designers' need to move beyond the proverbial balance of form and function, beyond the infusion of meaning, and on to full-fledged scriptwriting. Since things communicate, designers have to learn to write the initial script that will let people develop and improvise the dialogue."
Next up, "Translating Worlds" explores the premise that "one of design's foremost directives is to bring technological breakthroughs [to a] understandable human scale and transform them into objects that we all can use. In other words... design [is] the interface of progress, the bridge between progress and humanity."
After lunch, "The Talkative City" takes on the role of communication in urban environments, specifically the designer's role in facilitating "clarity, civility and engagement."
The Symposium will culminate with "Xtreme Communication," a panel discussion with architect Bjarke Ingels, chef Marcus Samuelsson and design studio Sputniko! that will "celebrate the impulse and desire to transcend spoken or written words in order to connect with the world and with others at a deeper, more empathetic level."
The last talk, which will be moderated by curator Paola Antonelli herself, will be followed by a performance by Sputniko! and a closing reception in the MoMA Sculpture Garden.