Workshop together with Simone Ridyard, Shelley McNulty and Fabrizio Cocchiarella
and with MMU (BA hons) Interior Design students from Manchester Metropolitan University and ESAD—CR Spatial Design graduation students from IPL
Lisbon, Portugal, November 2011

The theme of the 6th edition of EXD‘11 launches an exploratory analysis on the idea of Useful. In a society increasingly obsessed with the achievement of tangible goals and material possessions, the idea of being without occupation or purpose is absurd. Worse: it is politically and socially incorrect. (…) From a creative or intellectual standpoint, the idea of useless outlines the hidden yet overwhelming potential of experiments, “dead-end” or “failed” trials, abandoned prototypes and perplexing finds for which, apparently, no use has yet been found. EXD’11/LISBOA proposes a thorough reappraisal of uselessness.

 Uselessness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Like pure pleasure, it is disinterested. A useless experience can soothe or heighten our desire. It can lead us to debate tangible concerns, with an established scope of applicability and execution, or, alternatively inspire a symbolic, almost lyrical reflection on the significance of dimensions of intellectual and physical life such as beauty, dream and invention.