The Conservation Department
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum
is pleased to announce its seventh edition of the FUTURE TALKS conference series:

– the digital one –

November 08-10, 2021

The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 30, 2021

The seventh international conference FUTURE TALKS 021 focuses on smart and intelligent solutions, both in the development, production and the preservation of modern design and contemporary art.
Our cell phones have long been smart; cars are becoming smart and in the future entire systems will communicate smartly. Traditional industrial products and processes are being permeated by new, multidisciplinary developments in information technology. As the complexity of each design product increases, building surfaces respond intelligently to environmental conditions.
The first part of the event is dedicated to the representation of this change, from the well-designed functionality of a utility object to the complex integration in the overall system.
The increasing complexity of the materials and technologies used since the beginning of industrialization, as well as the influence of digital developments since the late 1980s, represents an extremely challenging field of activity for conservators. In addition to taking chemical relationships into account, knowledge of engineering developments and digital concepts is the basis for designing suitable conservation strategies.
Here it is more important than ever to develop smart conservation concepts that on the one hand do justice to the object and on the other hand leave the scope for reversible measures open as far as possible.
How is our material environment changing, both from a technological point of view and in the area of the functional, and what impact does this have on elementary decisions in the museum context (collection policy, conservation strategies, restoration methods …)?
FUTURE TALKS 021 reflects this change in the usual interdisciplinary way and presents itself this time as a complete online event. In addition to lectures on the topic, a panel discussion and the opportunity to discuss specific topics in small specialist groups, or in 1:1 mode with experts, designers and artists will give exciting insights into their current fields of activity by means of virtual studio tours.
To facilitate a lively and interdisciplinary dialogue, the conference is aimed at conservators, conservation scientists, designers, architects, artists, curators, collectors, engineers, and design and art producers.

The detailed conference programme and further information on fees and registration will be posted in spring 2021.

The FUTURE TALKS 021 are focussing on smart and intelligent solutions, both in the development, production and the preservation of modern design and contemporary art. In order to foster lively and interdisciplinary dialogue we invite submissions from conservators, conservation scientists, designers, architects, artists, curators, collectors, engineers and design and art producers.
Think about:
+ Clever treatments of modern artefacts
+ Innovative documentation techniques
+ New ways to identifiy modern materials
+ New ways to treat modern materials
+ Smart conservation concepts / methods
+ Advanced conservation treatments
+ Clever conservation materials and tools
+ Intelligent collection strategies
+ Leading technologies in the production of design and contemporary art
+ Clever Coating Systems
+ Outstanding examples of sustainable design
+ Innovative production procedures
+ Intelligent / smart materials
+ Responsive surfaces
+ Groundbreaking developments in industrial design
+ Visionary solutions
+ Breakthrough at material inventions
+ Prominent examples of the ultimate state of the art
Recent advances in this field, addressing technology, design and production processes, new and innovative treatment and analysis methods as well as current conservation research and ongoing projects are very welcome.
As we are aiming to create a dynamic event, the format of the presentations need not be a plenary talk. Ideas for workshops and panel discussions are of interest.

There are two ways to get involved, by either presenting a formal paper or submitting a poster. Preference for oral presentation will be given to papers dealing with current research. An abstract needs to be submitted for both options and should include:
+ The full title of the paper
+ Full names, postal addresses and e-mail address of the contact author
+ A summary of the paper (between 400 and 600 words)
+ Biographies of authors (max. 100 words)
+ Graphs, pictures, tables or references should not be included
+ Papers for the conference should be tailored to a 25-minute presentation time frame
+ All works submitted must be original and not have been published elsewhere.
+ The language of the symposium and proceedings will be in English.
+ The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 30, 2021
+ Please send your ideas for a contribution to:

A selection committee will review the abstracts and notify authors by May 15, 2021.
The presentations (lectures / posters) will be published at the end of 2023 at the next FUTURE TALKS conference in the form of postprints. Authors will be required to submit a final paper to the organisers at the conference.
The submitted papers for publication must be proof-read by a native English speaker.
The papers will be subject to a peer review and editing process.
Participation from students and professionals from allied fields is highly encouraged.
The conference and associated postprints will be in English.

The detailed conference program and further information about fees and registration will be posted end-May 2021.

With more than 1500 participants in the last 10 years the FUTURE TALKS became a highly recognised and established forum for interdisciplinary lectures, workshops and discussions on modern materials and technologies and its impact to the world of conservators, scientists, designers, artists and the gallerie scene.
With the focus on an increasing number of interdisciplinary contributions related to technologies and modified analysis techniques, our goal is to improve the decision-making process in the conservation of modern materials and to discuss / define possible ways of active treatments.
FUTURE TALKS helps to raise public awareness to the fact that even serial products are faced with a gradual degradation process of material which can result at worst in a loss of cultural identity and history.

Conservation Department
Die Neue Sammlung houses one of the world’s largest and most important collection of industrial design. The large number of objects reflects the technologies and materials developed in the course of the 20th and 21st century, attesting in particular to the use of plastics. However, unlike most traditional materials these are subject to a dynamic ageing process and after only a short time often already bear irreversible traces of their age. Corresponding types of damage can hardly be reconciled with the respective designer’s original intentions and are often problematic in terms of conservation.
Since its founding in 2002, the Conservation Department has become an important hub for the conservation and maintenance of modern design objects, through research into the deterioration and preservation of the collections, the development of new conservation processes and the knowledge of its original technology. It also plays an active role in networking and information sharing and takes part in national and international research projects in the conservation of design. Beyond the participation at international conferences with numerous lectures on the conservation of modern materials we had lectureships at the University College of London (UCL) in Doha, Qatar and the Technische Universität in Munich (TUM), Germany. Today we teach, among others, at the art academies of Stuttgart, Germany and Vienna, Austria.
Since 2009 both knowledge and network expanded to the FUTURE TALKS – an international conference platform, initiating an intensive and profound discourse on practical conservation treatments of modern materials.

Tim Bechthold [Dipl.Rest.Univ.]
Head of Conservation
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum