Online ChallengeOPEN CALL
Design in the Middle

An online project for display at
MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy.
March 1-5, 2017

The Maxxi Museum and the School of Redesign in collaboration with Fondazione Baruchello and Fondazione Mondo Digitale call upon architects, artists, designers and social activists to take part in an ambitious project: redesigning alternative futures for the Middle by submitting a Design Comment.

Design Comment is a short edited clip, a tool to publish and share your vision on a digital collaborative platform. Design Comment is your opportunity to dream a different reality and to inspire those who have not lost that spark of hope.

How can I participate?

Challenge yourself and submit a Design Comment on 20X2020:
20 = a twenty second video
2020 = the near future of the Middle

The year 2020 is the context for exploration of the various ways that our designerly way of thinking and acting can influence the near future in the Middle East. Every Design Comment should explore and present a short scenario and an imaginative design proposal that responds to ONE of the 5 challenges:


Water and food rights and resources, new agriculture, new energy


Open borders, immigration, dignity and identity, self-respect, self-identification


Communication, cultural exchanges, e-learning


Freedom of belief, living with religious diversity, new awareness, personal spiritualism, DIY belief


Data harvesting, mining and sharing that promote social cohesion

The best entries will be shown on a large screen at the MAXXI Museum between March 2-5, 2017.

5 outstanding contributions will be selected by the jury and will be announced and screened at the 20X2020 public event at the MAXXI. The best Design Comments will be promoted in the project’s future publications and traveling exhibition.

Max Borka / Director state of DESIGN, BERLIN
Pippo Ciorra / Senior Curator Maxxi Architettura
Doreen Toutikian / Director of Beirut Design Week

What is a Design Comment?

What is a Design Comment?
A short, edited clip, no longer than 20 seconds. You can add opening and closing slides, with titles and credits. You don’t have to count them within the 20 seconds of the clip.

Can I submit more than one Design Comment?
Yes, including a short series of clips. (The number of clips will not affect the judges’ decision one way or another).

What are the tools?
You can use any tool that communicates your ideas in a clear and visual way: still photos, video, computer renderings, sketches, animation, sound, monologue, narration, moving typography, infographics, etc.

Who can submit a comment?
This is an inclusive format, open to creative individuals who live and work in the Middle, to expats who have roots in the Middle, or to international creative individuals who are engaged and concerned with the issues at stake. Submissions by a group of individuals are also welcome.

Important Dates

February 6, 2017
Live streaming is open!

March 1, 2017
Deadline for submissions

March 4, 2017
Notification of the selected 5 Design Comments at the public 20X2020 event at the MAXXI Rome

{The curators reserve the right to refrain from displaying any video comments they judge to be offensive in any way}

Challenge Yourself

Interested in participating in the Design in the Middle online format?
Proceed to the submission form to introduce yourself and upload your Design Comment.

Design Comment

(Upload your Design Comment to Vimeo or YouTube and then paste its link up here)