Dezeen promotion: annual conference What Design Can Do is launching its first talks programme about the relationship between design and music (+ slideshow).

What Design Can Do for Music
British designer Peter Saville will headline the first What Design Can Do for Music. Photograph by Anna Blessmann

This year’s What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam will feature a series of talks and breakout sessions around the theme What Design Can Do for Music.

What Design Can Do for Music
In the 1980s, Saville created album covers for music label Factory Records, including the sleeve for True Faith by New Order

Peter Saville, the British designer behind many of the most iconic UK record covers of the 1970s and 1980s, will be among the speakers in the programme, which includes designers, artists and musicians.

What Design Can Do for Music
Saville also designed the cover for New Order’s second album, called Power Corruption & Lies

“Over its two-day programme What Design Can Do will present some of the most impressive examples of the interlocking realms of design and music, adding layers of meaning and understanding to the musical experience,” said What Design Can Do.



Dutch design duo Lernert & Sander will discuss their audiovisual work, including their recent “3-in-1” music video for De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, which covered three singles by the Dutch group.

What Design Can Do for Music
Dutch design duo Lernert & Sander will also speak about the relationship between design and music. Photograph by Duy Vo

Other speakers and performers include musician Officerfishdumplings, described by What Design Can Do as a “Moroccan remix master”, and multimedia artist Floris Kaayk.

What Design Can Do for Music
The pair will discuss their audiovisual work like the 3-in-1 music video for dutch band De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig

Dutch pianist Joep Beving will also perform live, providing a soundtrack for a film by London artist, designer and director Marcus Lyall.

What Design Can Do for Music
There will also be a live performance from Dutch pianist Joep Beving. Photograph by Rahi Rezvani

What Design Can Do for Music is one of three key themes for this year’s Amsterdam conference, which will take place from 30 June to 1 July in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, a music hall on the banks of the IJ river.

What Design Can Do for Music
Morrocan remix artist Officerfishdumplings will also perform

The other two themes are What Africa Can Do for Europe – which aims to offer a different perspective on questions around identity, social cohesion and international cooperation – and What Design Can Do for Refugees.

What Design Can Do for Music
Other speakers include artist, experience designer and director Marcus Lyall

The latter includes the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge, a design competition to help improve the lives of refugees living in urban environments for which Dezeen is media partner.

All 25 shortlisted designs from the challenge, which attracted over 630 entries, will be displayed during the conference and the five winners will also be revealed.

What Design Can Do for Music
Lyall designed the set for the The Chemical Brothers’ Born In The Echoes Tour in 2015

What Design Can Do was founded as an annual conference in 2010 to encourage debate among designers and promote projects that could help effect positive social change. Last year, the organisation launched its first conference in São Paulo, Brazil.

What Design Can Do for Music
As well as an interactive light and music composition, called On Your Wavelength

Tickets for the What Design Can Do annual conference in Amsterdam are also available online.

More information about the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge is also available on the What Design Can Do website.

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