Zeno Franchini and Francesca Gattello

MARGINAL is a studio made up of two designers who deal with research, exploring the margins of design disciplines and the role they can play in the transformation of societies. MARGINAL uses prototypes, installations, texts and films to investigate and document the production of “object universes” and spaces, and the implications of these on a universal scale. MARGINAL’s practice develops in continuous dialogue with other professions, skills and cultures. Within the logic of design and art, but also in opposition, Zeno Franchini and Francesca Gattello create constructive dissent by experimenting with interaction as a form of social practice and political awareness.


Marginal Studio, 2017, Counter Colonial Aesthetics, Collage

Zeno Franchini – Designer, MA in Social Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.

Francesca Gattello – Designer, MA in Product Design at Milan Polytechnic. 

Pablo Calderón Salazar & Michael Kaethler


The practice of Pablo Calderón Salazar focuses on collaboration with local partners within the different contexts in which his projects are carried out: a blacksmith in Riga, a chocolate maker in Liège, the leader of a community in Utrecht or immigrant workers in the Dutch Nordoostpolder. Salazar interprets with empathy the interests of his interlocutors, using dialogue as the main tool of his practice. Paying attention to the political, economic, social and cultural conditions in which the projects take place, Salazar produces texts, installations, graphics, videos, interventions and objects aimed at provoking a reflection on issues of strong social relevance. He accompanies his critical approach with a proactive drive focused on better forms of coexistence.

Michael Kaethler is a researcher whose focus extends from political science to social anthropology, and from Slavic literature and film to urban planning. He states that he doesn’t identify himself with either the figure of designer or researcher because, not adhering to the context or theoretical framework of these two roles, he prefers to act within different areas assuming different roles that allow him to define “improbable forms of theoretical and practical bricolages“. His research path has led him to dwell on how the diffusion of knowledge can be directed by curatorship – a perspective and practice in which various types of knowledge come together and are mediated and interpreted.

Michael Kaethler, Re-situating Dialogue

Pablo Calderón Salazar – Designer, and PhD student at the Catholic University of Leuven, as part of the TRADERS project (Training Art and Design Researchers for Participation in Public Space).

Michael Kaethler – Sociologist, Marie Curie Research Fellow and PhD student at the Catholic University of Leuven as part of the TRADERS project (Training Art and Design Researchers for Participation in Public Space).

Spector Books - book presentation


“Lampedusa. Picture stories from the edge of Europe”

Anne König and Emilie Josso

Spector Books’ editorial practice is positioned at the intersection of art, theory and design. This Leipzig publishing house explores the possibilities offered by an active exchange between the different figures involved in the production of a book: artists, authors, book designers, lithographers, printers and bookbinders. The book as medium is transformed into a stage, a meeting place and a productive exchange. In 2017 Spector Books published “Lampedusa. Bildgeschichten vom Rande Europas” (“Lampedusa. Picture stories from the edge of Europe”) by a project belonging to the Migrant Images Research Group of which the publishers themselves are part of, together with the photographer Armin Linke. Today, images are moving in the same way as people, so when Armin Linke was invited to participate in a photographic project on Lampedusa, he left his camera at home. Instead, he brought with him a team from Karlsruhe University, so that they could talk with local photographers about their own photographs. The collected material is contained in the book presented at Lungomare.


Anne König – Editor (Spector Books), Leipzig.

Emilie Josso – Illustrator based in Bologna.