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The cover of the book How to Design a Revolution on a black background with bright lilac highlights.  Text in white and lilac provides the event date, location, and sponsors.

Book Launch: How to Design a Revolution

Text from Lars Müller Publishers

A bold project for change unfolded in Latin America at the beginning of the 1970s. After an electoral victory in Chile, the socialist government led by Salvador Allende and his governing coalition, Unidad Popular, embarked on a mission to bring about a socialist revolution through existing democratic institutions to address the most pressing needs of the Chilean people. The result was an unprecedented alliance of socialism, democracy and design.

The book by Hugo Palmarola, Eden Medina, and Pedro Ignacio Alonso, provides the most complete analysis of the graphic and industrial design projects developed during Salvador Allende’s presidency. The book’s twelve chapters tell some of the most remarkable histories of this innovative design experience, including histories of the powdered milk measuring spoons designed to combat child malnutrition, the posters that encouraged collective action and a state-of-the-art operations room built to manage Chile’s state-run industries. Through these and other projects we see how Chile’s designers worked to create a path to social and material justice.

Fifty years after the civil-military coup d’état that put an end to democracy in Chile, and with it these design initiatives, the book provides a reminder of Latin America’s transformative capacity and a source for reflection and creative inspiration.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase onsite from the MIT Press Bookstore.

Hugo Palmarola is associate professor in the School of Design at the Pontifi cia Universidad Católica de Chile and holds a PhD in Latin American Studies from UNAM Mexico. He was curator and editor of “Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World” at ArkDes Stockholm, and “Monolith Controversies Pavilion of Chile” at the 14th Venice Architecture Bienniale.

Eden Medina is a historian of science and technology and a professor in the MIT Program for Science, Technology, and Society. She is the author of “Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile” and coeditor of “Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America.

Pedro Ignacio Alonso is associate professor in the School of Architecture at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and head of the PhD Program in Architecture, Design, and Urban Studies. He was curator and editor of “Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World” at ArkDes Stockholm and “Monolith Controversies: Pavilion of Chile” at the 14th Venice Architecture Bienniale.

This event has been made possible through the collaboration and support of the MIT Morningside Academy for Design (MAD); MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society; MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS); MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI); Lars Müller Publishers; Centro Cultural La Moneda; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología, Conocimiento e Innovación de Chile; and Fundación Imagen de Chile.

Date: 03/11/2024
Time: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Samuel Tak Lee Building (9-255)
105 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States