Festival Community
This website is using cookies to. By clicking 'OK', you agree with our cookie policy. More about this.


Oliver Vodeb



Oliver Vodeb's work engages in diverse and many times overlapping strategies. Currently his work is focused on research: writing/theory, public communication-design/art/photography, creative/conceptual direction and collaboration, education: lecturing/seminars/ self initiated workshops in an ongoing engagement with processes and institutions that determine our every day life and design social futures. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

​Oliver collaborates with respected academic publishers like Bloomsbury (Design Philosophy Papers, Design and Culture), University of Ljubljana, Universidad Caldas, Intellect books UK while at the same time creating a new and independent scene, fostering fundamental change of communication/design in order to become relevant in times of radical uncertainty and environmental degradation. His research approach is inter/extra disciplinary and he understands theory and practice as interrelated.

Oliver holds a PhD in Sociology of communication and design, from University of Ljubjana, Slovenia where he has studied under Mirjana Ule, Rastko Močnik and Aleš Debeljak. He was close friends with Slovenian poster design legend late prof. Zdravko Papič with whom he has collaborated for many years. 

He has lectured at Universities and conferences around the world. From 2003- 2011, he taught "Theories and practices of media and communication" at the Design department at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Ljubljana where he started a completely new interdisciplinary area of critical studies of communication design.

From 2004 -2011 he was funding co- director of Poper studio, for public communication, a commercial studio which has been using his theories of socially responsive communication and design as the underpinning philosophy. Poper has worked on projects like a presidential campaign that shifted political communication from commercial branding to dialog, the largest experimental design human rights communication campaign on the case of the biggest human rights violation in Slovenia and the first open source peer - peer production based fashion brand.

From 2011 he was teaching and researching at Griffith University Queensland College of Art/design department in Brisbane. He was director of the visual communication program and was co-developing and implementing the new Design Futures program focused on social and environmental response-ability.

From 2014 -2019 he is academic at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne- communication design department, focusing on communication for designing social futures and teaching mostly in the interdisciplinary masters of design. His Design Futures course grew exponentially and was the most popular master course despite its very demanding pedagogy of unlearning. 

From 2019 he is an academic at School of Design,  and teaches in the Master of Communication Design at RMIT University Melbourne.

Dr Vodeb has published four books with University of Ljubljana and Intellect Books UK and numerous papers in journals like Design and Culture, Design Philosophy Papers, Journal for Critique of Science and Art, Kepes, has curated twelve Memefest's and was creative director of dozens public communication campaigns/ interventions including the first national anti drug prohibition campaign, a presidential campaign and the largest experimental design human rights campaign in Slovenia. He has lectured around the world, co-directed Poper studio for public communication for eight years and has given Memefest workshops in Slovenia, Colombia, Netherlands, Australia, USA and Cuba;

When asked about design awards, he likes to think of Nick Cave, and offers this reading

He's most recent book Food Democracy, Critical Lessons in Food, Communication, Design and Art is published by Intellect Books UK. The book is sold out and was now reprinted. He is currently working on the art/ design project Lipstick and Bread, investigating what he calls pleasure praxis and is preparing two new book projects: one on (un)disciplining documentary photography and one on an extradisciplinary investigation of dialogue and intimacy in relation to design, communication and art. Oliver is also book series editor at Intellect Books UK.

Oliver founded Memefest festival of socially responsive communication and art in 2002 and is  curator, editor and main organizer of the project since it's beginning. The festival nurtures and rewards theory, research and communication that works towards a more equal and just society. Committed to social and environmental change, critical pedagogy and dialogue, and with participants and collaborators from more than 60 countries the festival is a unique alternative to the surface spectacle driven advertising and design festivals and other competitions that drive our understanding of good communication. As a tactical institution and network Memefest connects academia, professionals, activists, artists, theory and practice. Memefest is designed as a tactical, educational, communication and research tool. Oliver also facilitates Memefest's online social network, free of any intentionally embedded surveillance and hidden commercial value extraction of published data.

He's newest love is www.lipstickandbread.com, where he experiments with what he calls pleasure praxis.

Oliver enjoys very much going to concerts and listening to music. Concerts he liked a lot: The Dirty Three, Total Control, Faith no More, The Mars Volta, Black Rebel Motorcycle club, Primus, The Butthole Surfers, Mark Lanegan, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Cat Power, C.W. Stoneking, Twenty Miles and North Mississippi Allstars- among others. Since he lives in Melbourne he is spoiled by its amazing music scene and goes to concerts as much as he can.