Together with Virginia Tassinari, Nik Baerten was invited to contribute a forward-looking chapter on design in future times for “We are wanderful“, a book covering 25 years of design & fashion in the belgian province of Limburg. Each invited a series of international friends and colleagues to zoom in on a key term: Virginia Tassinari asked people to look at existing words that are gradually shifting meaning whereas Nik asked people to craft new words, evocative of possible new future worlds (for more on this approach, also see The Neological Institute). In an introductory text, Virginia Tassinari frames design as the making of meaning. Ezio Manzini, Luigi Ferrara, Susan Yelavich, Mugendi M’Rhitaa, Stefano Maffei, Carla Cipolla, Eduardo Staszowski & Lara Penin each zoomed in on a key term shifting meaning. In ‘Words for worlds’, Nik looks at language as a subtle indicator and possibly also catalyst of change. Carlo Ratti, Rachel Armstrong, Richard Eisermann, Studio Formafantasma, Thomas Pausz, Aleksi Neuvonen and Juha van ‘t Zelfde raised insightful questions on the future of design through newly created words.
Nik was also interviewed on the occasion, with respect to Pantopicon’s work on the Mobilotoop project regarding the role of open design in future mobility.