Best Practice #7: BIO – The Biennial of Design, Slovenjia


BIO – The Biennial of Design in Ljubljana is an international platform for new approaches in design. It is structured as a long-term collaborative process, where teams of designers and multidisciplinary agents develop alternatives to established systems.

BIO works as a testing ground, where design is employed as a tool to question and improve our daily life, among different and multidisciplinary design approaches that touch systems, production, services, scientific research, humanistic issues and unexpected conditions for the production of our habitat. The diverse array of topics resonates with both local and global demands, with its comprehensive projects aimed at creating resilient structures that develop over time, often beyond the duration of the biennial.

The process is based on methods and tools from the area of participatory design, service design, design thinking and other tools, depending on the topic the group is working on. In addition, approaches and criteria like sharing economy, circular economy and sustainable design are often applied.

Key persons
Due to the fact that the biennial brings together people who don’t speak the same (expertise) language, with different backgrounds and expectations, facilitators are key persons in the process. Their role is to coordinate and fire up the process and also deal with potential conflicts.

Long-term collaboration
The aim of the biennial is to set the framework within which the projects could continue beyond the duration of the laboratory and biennial. Usually at least some of the projects continue
their path beyond the duration of the biennial and succeed in reality.

To maintain this, the biennial serves as a platform, provides the space to experiment but also to further develop
projects. Curators, as skilled facilitators, offer the chance for solo exhibitions, promote artists and help to provide financial support for further research or space for explorations

Co-Create Best Practice Full Report 2017

Maja Vardjan, BIO – The Biennial of Design in Ljubljana,

Foto Credits: BIO, MAO