Mar 19–May 3, 2009

Pictopia - Festival of New Character Worlds

Exhibition, Film Programme, Conference, Symposium

The explosion of character design at the beginning of the millennium changed visual culture distinctively. These graphically pared down and bright-eyed pictograms spread like wildfire across digital media, advertising, fashion and art. They playfully sample and remix the visual codes of pop, folklore, brand logos and comics, but resist being restricted to any one genre. By engaging the viewer on a direct emotional level they are able to bypass language and cultural barriers - but can abstract designs really be the answer to our Utopian dreams of global visual communication?

In spring 2009, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt will host the Pictopia festival, the world's first ever large-scale presentation and celebration of the phenomenon. In March and April, this multidisciplinary event location will be transformed into a character biotope and a meeting point for an international scene of designers, artists, producers and an interested public.

More information at

A project of Pictoplasma in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds