At The


At The


A/D/O Research Programs are a platform for designers and scholars to explore unique and non-traditional fields related to design. We invest in research because we believe that design is critical to solving global problems and altering perceptions. 

At The Border, curated in partnership with Jan Boelen and Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence, succeeds our 2018/2019 program, Water Futures, and our 2017/2018 program, Utopia/Dystopia.

“It is crucial to step beyond simple dichotomies dictating that spaces should be understood as either territorially bounded or open. Even the most thoroughly fixed borders transform, are crossed, and are partly ‘mobile’.”

Anssi Paasi


Cycle 1 | Charting the Border.

Mapping physical, geological and geographical confines.

Cycle 2 | Imagining the Border.

Disrupting and untangling established systems.

Cycle 3 | Crossing the Border

Finding and stepping through the in-between spaces and the thresholds.


The term "border” is inevitably associated with contradictory ideas of belonging and exclusion, of freedom and constraint, protection and defense. Our 2019/2020 Research Program, At The Border, will call on designers to step beyond these simple dichotomies by challenging and redrawing the lines that create contemporary boundaries, whether natural, human, or virtual. In doing so, we aim to ignite discussions about nationalism, identity, privacy, physical walls, rebellion, emancipation, conquest, and what lies at the fringes.

Jan Boelen is artistic director of Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium, artistic director of Atelier LUMA, an experimental laboratory for design in Arles, France, and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (22 Sep–4 Nov 2018) in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2019, Boelen was appointed as Rektor of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe.
Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence is a cultural producer and curator based in Brussels, Belgium. She holds a BA in Industrial Design and an MA in Conceptual Design from Design Academy Eindhoven. From 2008 to 2015, she ran a design practice in the Netherlands and Belgium, and since 2012 has focused on collaborative and curatorial projects.

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