GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home

Image by Irene Stracuzzi.

During the 2019 Salone del Mobile in Milan, Design Academy Eindhoven presents GEO—DESIGN, a platform where design becomes a tool to investigate contemporary geopolitics on a global scale. This exhibition explores Alibaba as a colossal phenomenon shaping the world through digital, social, and logistical networks. In nine in-depth projects by DAE alumni, design intersects with journalism, artificial intelligence, open data, politics, labour, and entertainment—and responds to our urgent need for a new vision on today’s world.

GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home is a Design Academy Eindhoven exhibition curated by Joseph Grima and Martina Muzi, presenting the work of Arvid&Marie, Maxime Benvenuto, Allison Crank, Leif Czakai & Timm Donke, Jing He, Isabel Mager, Martina Muzi, Irene Stracuzzi, and Alice Wong & Aryan Javaherian.

GEO—DESIGN is an attempt to consider the role of design - and designers - on a planetary scale. With this exhibition, and with the launch of a new Masters in GEO—DESIGN in 2020, we intend to acknowledge the urgency of broadening our horizons to consider the vast challenges and possibilities of our time from a design perspective.
— Joseph Grima, creative director of Design Academy Eindhoven


In the summer of 2018, the Design Academy Eindhoven launched GEO—DESIGN, a platform to explore the social, economic, territorial, and geopolitical forces shaping design today. GEO—DESIGN generates original research into complex contemporary systems in the form of design explorations and investigations by creative practitioners from the DAE community.

The first outcome was GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba, an exhibition produced in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week in October 2018. Nine DAE graduates were invited to research Alibaba’s operational model and its impact on the design field. For the 2019 Salone del Mobile, Design Academy Eindhoven sets the agenda with a new iteration of GEO—DESIGN bringing ongoing research to an expanded international audience. GEO—DESIGN will become a two-year master’s course at DAE in September 2020, focusing on design in terms of systems, strategy, and experimental research. The Master’s studio will grow into an agile team of innovative research designers, traveling at the unknown frontiers of our perpetually designed (and redesigned) world.   

GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba seeks to trace the nebulous outline of a company called Alibaba, best known as the world’s largest virtual shopping mall. In reality Alibaba is more than just a “company”, or even one of the world’s largest companies: it is at once an Internet platform, chat system, financial institution, social network, cloud computing service, digital wallet, education and innovation driver, and an almost indescribably vast logistics network that links cities, ports and factory villages across the world. Whether we recognise it or not, it is a powerful agent in every stage of the design process today—and more than simply shaping the rules of design, production, and circulation as an e-commerce giant, Alibaba is both a massive influence and an engine for change in contemporary geopolitics and global infrastructure.

Project 'Live Streaming' by Jing He. Photograph by Marcel de Buck.

About Design Academy Eindhoven

Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) is one of the most acclaimed institutions for design learning in the world. It is recognised for its forward-thinking and renowned professors and alumni, who have made great advances in the design field. DAE is an accredited university of the arts, offering both BA and MA degrees, specialised in higher education in design.

GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home

Practical information
Via Marco Aurelio 21, Milano
Open Tuesday 9 April — Sunday 14 April from 10.00-19.00h
Press preview
Monday 8 April from 10.00-12.30h
Private opening
Thursday 11 April at 19.00h (INVITE ONLY)

For an overview of all exibiting Design Academy Eindhoven Alumni in Milan, please see this map.

Note for press
Press Preview Monday 8 April from 10.00-12.30h.
For more information about GEO—DESIGN: Alibaba, visit
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Design Academy Eindhoven thanks its Friends And Funders for their ongoing support:

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Press Releases

Practical Information

Via Marco Aurelio 21, Milano

For an overview of all exibiting Design Academy Eindhoven Alumni in Milan, please see this map.

Dates and Opening Hours
Open Tuesday 9 April — Sunday 14 April from 10.00-19.00h
Private opening Thursday 11 April at 19.00h (INVITE ONLY)

Press Preview
Monday 8 April from 10.00-12.30h
Please register via mail.