Gerhard M. Buurman is the founder of a couple of programmes, initiatives and institutes at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Hochparterre called him a steady initiator and Bernhard Bürdek commended his distinguished ideas on the university level. As theorist and vibrant researcher he worked in international groups at the ETH Zürich and Harvard Law School, as practitioner, advisor and member of the supervisory board he works for international clients (Infinion, James Turrell, O’Neill, Schweizerische Nationalbank, UBS, Virtual Identity to name a few). Gerhard has written for Manager Magazine, Neue Zürcher Zeitung edited books about Designtheory, Interaction Design, Designeconomics or the Intrinisc Logic of Design. Since 2016 he is investigating the intersection of Utopia, Fiction and Economics and works for the PhantasticLab, his recent academic claim. Visit him at


The Mass Consumption of Ideas. Design and the Arts of Social Intercourse

If societies talk about progress and social welfare, design and innovation has become key factors of hope. As a matter of fact design has changed its initial position. It is not so long since we talked about shaping solutions, today we talk about the consumption of ideas as a fatal mechanism which concurrently perpetuates and degrades THE SYSTEM. If we rethink the preconditions of our discipline we have to consider this back-breaking fact. We shouldn’t ask how to design the world fair, sustainable and tangible. We should better discuss ways how to think design beyond pixillated ideas of total interaction or fictious perfection. The talk gives some basic directions how to reformulate the preconditions for a clever and regardful social intercourse beyond the normative.