Design Biennial Boston 2012

The Third Design Biennial at BSA Space

The Design Biennial Boston 2012 was the third design biennial and the first to be held at BSA Space. This year’s biennial hinges on two traditional domains of the design exhibition: the installation and the archive. Site-specific installations by the 2012 winners describe our positions on the stakes of contemporary practice and its matters of concern, from cultural production to the properties of matter, the technics of geometry and fabrication, and the redefinition of accepted uses and forms. As part of the exhibition, over,under created an archive of previous Biennial participants using these four thematic categories – culture, material, discipline, type – mapping the overlapping interests of the city’s emerging practices in the past decade-plus.

The team also conducted a survey of past winners, exploring the changing nature of designers who live and work “here.” Some of these offices no longer exist; others have moved elsewhere. Though there continues to be a lack of a significant number of local projects designed by these firms, the quality and range of work on display here attests to the potential of critical, experimental design in making Boston a home not just for speculation but for action.