Ruedi Baur, Vera Baur

Graphic Designer, Sociologist, Atelier Intégral Ruedi Baur, Paris and Zurich

Ruedi Baur was born in Paris in 1956 and completed a degree in graphic design in Zurich in 1979. He founded Atelier BBVin Lyon in 1983, and in 1989 he set up the interdisciplinary network Integral Concept and established studios—Intégral Ruedi Baur—in Paris and Zurich. He started the research institutes Design2context in 2004 and Civic City in 2011. He currently conducts research and teaches at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, at HEAD in Geneva, and at the University of Strasbourg, where he obtained his doctorate in 2017. Together with Vera Baur, he founded the research and development studio “Dix-milliards-humains” in 2018, as a means to engage with the crucial changes taking place in the world. He has produced a number of books in conjunction with Lars Müller and other publishers.

Vera Baur, sociologist and cultural scientist, with a specialization in visual and urban anthropology, is associate researcher in the sociology of design at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and visiting lecturer at USEK, Beirut, and at the Paris Institute of Political Sciences and EHESS, Paris. She has developed a research and interdisciplinary practice at the interface between culture, science, and politics. In 1989 she was founding director of INTERDIS_Institute for Interdisciplinarity, Berlin, and has realized numerous publications, exhibitions, conferences, and research projects. After an international career as an independent exhibition curator, critic, and director of exhibition spaces for contemporary art, she was founder and co-director of the Institute of Art, Design and Media Technology at the GSO University of Nuremberg (2000–2004) and the institute Design2context at the University of Arts Zurich (200–11). She is also on the board of the Society of Interdisciplinary Visual Sciences (GIB) and the Transmedia Academy Hellerau, Dresden. She is president of the international association Civic City, an institute for critical research and science in design, and, together with Ruedi Baur, she runs different research programmes on Relation Design in collaboration with the University of Art and Design (HEAD) Geneva and the University of Strasbourg as well as the department of social design at the studio Intégral Ruedi Baur, Paris/Zurich.

Lecture: Another world is possible: We have to design it.

Thursday, June 7, 7:15 p.m.

“The nobles had many privileges. When the king of France agreed to exempt them from taxation, the people were infuriated and revolution broke out.” The wealth of the fifteen richest people in the world is equal to that of the poorest half of the planet. In 2010 that number stood at 388. All or almost all of them use off-shore schemes to avoid paying the taxes they are liable for. The politicians acquiesce. A plutocracy has been installed on our planet and democracy is no more than a sad masquerade. We play the game of national selfishness to better lull us to sleep. States play with fear and authoritarianism, and we are drawn by design and architecture into a state of artificial enchantment. However, these disciplines can also become a force for reason, a source of citizenship, proposals, and alternative plans—they may even be something to be denounced. Starting from different projects developed as part of Civic city, Ruedi and Vera Baur will present attempts to free themselves from the dominant logic of neo-liberalism, marketing, and other branding by trying to transform design methods.