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Portrait of BIO28 curator Alexandra Midal, © Lucija Rosc / MAO

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in Ljubljana has announced the appointment of Alexandra Midal as curator of the 28th edition of the Biennale of Design (BIO). BIO, Europe’s oldest design biennial, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2024. It is organised by MAO in collaboration with the Centre for Creativity (CzK). The upcoming edition of BIO, entitled “Double Agent”, will take place in Ljubljana between November 2024 and April 2025. Alexandra Midal is a professor at the Geneva School of Art and Design and head of the critical thinking department at ENSCI-Les Ateliers in Paris. The renowned art and design historian, they say, combines “practice- and theory-oriented research as an artist, curator, theorist and film essayist”. In doing so, she explores blind spots and grey areas of design history, as in her two most recent books “The Murder Factory” (Sternberg Press, 2023) and “Design by Accident: For a New History of Design” (Sternberg Press, 2019).

Midal studied literature, architecture and art history at Princeton and Paris. She completed her PhD at the Sorbonne in Paris, while she was awarded the Rome Prize for Architecture at the Villa Medici. She has curated a number of international exhibitions on visual culture, design and politics, including “Top Secret: Cinema and Espionage” and “Tomorrow Now – When Design Meets Science Fiction”. Her films have been shown in museums around the world. “I am very much looking forward to working with the BIO team for the next edition of the Ljubljana Design Biennale. This event offers a unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue about historical and contemporary design issues. My aim is to highlight alternative design perspectives and the different voices within the field from an international point of view. I am keen to re-evaluate the concept of ‘double agent’, which emerges as a narrative that connects a seemingly everyday flower with its hidden, cryptic and mysterious role in shaping identities and politics. I’m excited to be able to show that BIO is not just an exhibition, but also a platform, a laboratory for exploration and a hub for research and community engagement throughout the duration of the exhibition.”

Emma Pflieger has been appointed assistant curator. The French designer is co-founder of the design studio Studio Pflieger-Foeglé, which takes a research-based, interdisciplinary approach to craft spaces, installations and graphic design. The curatorial concept of BIO28 is to be presented in December.

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