The UK’s James Langdon has carved out a unique practice that fully integrates his design, editorial, and curatorial pursuits. As one of six directors of Eastside Projects—an artist-run exhibition space dedicated to promoting cultural growth in its home town of Birmingham, England—Langdon designs and edits many of the organization’s publications and is responsible for creating a series of experimental manuals that explore its mission through ideas as varied as urban renewal, adhocism, and public engagement. In 2013, Langdon founded the itinerant School for Design Fiction, working with students to investigate the storytelling inherent in the design process, the emotions embedded within an artifact, and the benefits of living in speculative worlds.
As a curator, Langdon organized Arefin & Arefin: The Graphic Design of Tony Arefin, an exhibition celebrating the overlooked but highly influential British graphic designer; Book Show, exploring the form of the book; and a restaging of Norman Potter’s In:quest of Icarus at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Langdon has been guest lecturer at schools around the world, including Werkplaats Typografie (Arnhem), Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht), and Konstfack (Stockholm).
He is the recipient of the 2012 Inform International Award for Conceptual Design, presented by Gallery for Contemporary Art, Leipzig for the project and publication “A school for design fiction”. This publication documents and expands on the founding of the school through a series of imagined scenarios. These include a drama at the printer for architect Augustus Pugin in 1836, the history of the universe as observed on an English hillside in 1937, the first human trial of split brain surgery in California in 1961, and a Scottish speech synthesis studio in 2013.
For the first time in Ljubljana, James Langdon will present his long-time research of the English designer and author Norman Potter, to coincide with the first Slovene translation of his important essay "What is a Designer" from 1968.
(In collaboration with Pekinpah)