A curated series of lectures, talks and conversations presented by illustrious local and international guests

17th – 22nd September 2018

Valletta Campus Theatre, University of Malta, Valletta

Malta Design Week (MDW) is an event presented by Foundation 808, which aims to celebrate, promote, and showcase the best of Maltese and international design, innovation and creativity.

In recent times, Malta has experienced monumental changes to our built and social landscape. Over six days, Design Dialogues will seek to address a multitude of key issues that are affecting us today. Design Dialogues will showcase some of the best national and international design practitioners, promote good design, and also ask critical questions about our society and the role of design.

Through the presentations and discussions, Design Dialogues will question: How is design changing the way we live today? How can design be a force for good, or bad? What are the key developments in contemporary design practice? What influence will design have on the future of our society? What is the current design situation in Malta?

Design Dialogues offers an opportunity for Architects, Product Designers, Interior Designers, Artists, Manufacturers, Students, Academics, and people from many different aspects of contemporary design to come together to promote and share their knowledge and ideas.

MDW2018: Design Dialogues speakers include: Tetsuo Kondo (Tetsuo Kondo Architects, Japan), Dmitri Jajich & Karl Micallef (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, USA), Toby F. Blunt (Foster + Partners, UK), Prof. Arch. Marco Casamonti (Archea, Italy), Marco Scerri (Malta), 72 Hour Urban Action (GER), OS ∆ OOS (NDR), Germans Ermičs (Latvia/NDR), Prof. Andrew Walters (PDR, Wales), Neil Pace O’Shea (Malta), plus other special guests.

Although coming from far and wide, many of the Design Dialogues speakers and organisations have strong connections to Malta. Archea designed the recently renovated Is-Suq Tal-Belt, Tetsuo Kondo is designing the new Valletta Design Cluster roof garden, and Foster + Partners have designed the Manoel Island Masterplan. Design Dialogues presentations will be followed by an open forum where members of the audience can propose questions, join in the discussions and learn more about these, and many other projects of local and international significance.

Design Dialogues is a Valletta 2018 project and is part of the Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture Programme.


DAY 1 • Monday 17th September • 5.30pm–7.30pm

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Neil Pace O’Shea (Malta)
The Making of Project Nine

Neil is the designer, maker and founding partner at ‘The Floating Project’.  Having graduated from the University for the Creative Arts (Surrey, UK) with a Degree and Masters in Interior Architecture & Design (2012), he spent the following few years working in the design industry both in London and in Malta. Read more…

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Professor Andrew T. Walters, PDR (Wales)
Design Innovation: From Products to Policy

Andrew has 18 years of experience in the delivery of design research and commercial design projects in collaboration with industry, academia, governments and other external organisations. These projects have been based on interests that centre on applied research related to design practice. Read more…


DAY 2 • Tuesday 18th September • 5.30pm–7.30pm

Hosted in collaboration with DiSé, Italy

Sophie Mensen & Oskar Peet, OS ∆ OOS (Netherlands)
Domestic Monuments

Studio OS ∆ OOS is design studio for small objects to larger spatial concepts; founded in 2013 by Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen who both graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven the Netherlands. The studio tries to find the balance between form, material and their relation to the surroundings and the user. Read more…


Germans Ermičs, Studio Germans Ermičs, (Netherlands)
Shaping Colour

Germans Ermičs was born in Riga, Latvia in 1985. After studying design in Denmark, he went on an internship at Rasmus Koch Studio in Copenhagen where he developed his skills in graphic design. In 2007, Ermičs co-founded the Latvian culture magazine Veto, serving as art director. At the same time, he began studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, in the department Man & Living, where the designer’s primary focus was on furniture and interiors. Read more…


DAY 3 • Wednesday 19th September • 5.30pm–7.30pm

Sponsored by MIDI, Malta


Marco Scerri (Malta)
Three Generations of Maltese Graphic Design

Salvu, Joseph and Marco Scerri – three graphic designers from one Maltese family. This untold story of a family and its design history will look at the discipline of graphic design from the mid-1950s till now, through a selection of graphic works produced by the Scerri family, in Malta and abroad. Read more…


Toby F. Blunt, Foster + Partners (UK)
How Design is Influencing our Future Living in Cities

Toby F Blunt, BA (Hons) Arch Dip Arch Cert PP AA RIBA Deputy Head of Studio, Senior Partner, Foster + Partners. Toby Blunt is Deputy Head of Studio 5. He studied at the University Of Portsmouth School Of Architecture, obtaining an Honours degree in 1990 and a Diploma in 1992. Read more…


DAY 4 • Thursday 20th September • 5.30pm–7.30pm

Hosted in collaboration with the Planning Authority


Dmitri Jajich & Karl Micallef, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (USA)
Building Tall

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world with a reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Read more…


Panel Discussion, 72 Hour Urban Action (Germany)
Small change, Big impact

In October 2017 a mixed team of international and local creatives took over a street passage located behind the historic old battery in Pretty Bay, Birzebbuga.  The derelict passage was transformed over the course of intense three days and three nights into a lively usable public space with a unique design. Read more…


DAY 5 • Friday 21st September • 5.30pm–7.30pm

Hosted in collaboration with the Valletta Design Cluster


Tetsuo Kondo, Tetsuo Kondo Architects (Japan)
Valletta Design Cluster Roof Garden

Tetsuo Kondo is a Japanese Architect and founder of Tetsuo Kondo Architects (Tokyo). The award-winning architect is internationally recognized for his work which sensitively integrates architectural interventions with the natural environment. Read more…


DAY 6 • Saturday 22nd September • 5.30pm–8pm


Prof. Arch. Marco Casamonti, Archea (Italy)
Is-Suq tal-Belt

Marco Casamonti graduated in 1990 from the University of Florence, and in 2001 became Ordinary Professor in Architectural and Urban Design at the Architecture Faculty of the University of Genoa. He carried out intensive research and critical analysis on architecture themes, publishing essays and papers and holding conferences and lectures. Read more…


Design Dialogues Closing Discussion

Following the final Design Dialogues presentation by Prof. Arch Marco Casamonti, MDW18: Design Dialogues will come to a close with a chaired panel discussion featuring many of the speakers from throughout the week’s events. Speakers and audiences alike will have the opportunity to interact with each other, discuss, and reflect in further depth on the key topics of Malta Design Week, Design Dialogues 2018.