Join us on 1–15 Absolute 149 (September 8–22, 2021 vulg.) as we open the doors to the first edition of the Patadesign School, an exceptional school of exceptions.

The School is inviting participants to collectively experiment with ways of designing in a time when possibility clearly needs to rediscover itself. Doing so necessarily requires the surfacing of pataphysics, the science of imaginary solutions, in design.

What will happen?

The first edition of the Patadesign School will take place over the course of two weeks, inviting its participants to engage in a series of collective experiments, taking on formats such as design exercises, readings, lectures, performances and of course a spectacular feast.

All of these activities will follow the School’s overarching mission (see About), while also speaking to a specific theme of the first edition: Ethernity. Fusing the substance of “ether” with “eternity”, we believe “Ethernity” is a most suitable pataphysical concept, which can prove instructive for designers in their contemplation and action in the current pandemic state of the world. Through the activities taking place during the School, we will engage Ethernity in multiple different ways, designing with its unique virtual, spatial, temporal and social qualities.

The School will coordinate between online live exchanges and site-specific expeditions of design making. We don’t view this combination of modalities as a limitation, but rather as a full immersion into our topic matter. You can join from wherever you are.

Isabella, Henrique and Søren will all be partaking in the School activities, as will a number of invited guests. As an internationally oriented and inclusive School, we are currently working on a time zone friendly programme (we’re prototyping using our current coordinates of Brasilia – Copenhagen – Melbourne).

Full programme coming soon.

Apply Now

Deadline for applications:
June 20, 2021 vulg.

Who are you?

As a pataphysical design school, we welcome designers of all stripes to apply: practitioners, students, researchers, hoaxers, believers, bureaucrats, and jugglers.

The School is not centred on the teaching of a specific craft in design, be it woodwork, UX, business design, fashion design, human-centred design or crocodile-centred design for that matter. Rather, it assumes that applicants are bringing their very own particular set of eclectic skills and knowledges to the School, and consciously so.

Further, following the pataphysical principle of equivalence between all the exceptions which make up this world, the School is indiscriminate in the extreme, in its pursuit of exceptional participants. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion or belief. In particular, we encourage applications from women; people with disabilities; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); and LGBTQIA+ people.

We don’t expect prospective students to show up with a deep familiarity with pataphysics. This is fundamentally unnecessary, as successful applications unconsciously will be mastering pataphysics already in their respective practices. At the school we seek to harness the collective skills of the group in a set of exceptional explorations of the imaginary nature of design solutions. In this process we expose the pataphysical dimension of design, bringing it to consciousness.

The School accepts up to 20 students for its initial voyage into Ethernity. On acceptance, students are welcomed to pay a small tuition fee. We will use this money to strictly cover direct expenses related to running the School. Paying any kind of tuition is not a requirement for admission, and the School reserves a number of tuition-free spots to ensure equivalence in participation.

Who are we?

Isabella Brandalise is a PhD student at RMIT University and investigates possible alignments between pataphysics and design in the public sector, drawing upon previous experiences in both areas.

Henrique Eira is an independent graphic designer and design teacher based in Brasilia. He holds an MFA degree from CalArts and researches political, poetic and experimental approaches to graphic design and typography.

Dr. Søren Rosenbak is a designer, researcher, and educator working as design lead at Laerdal Medical in Copenhagen. He is driven by design’s capacity for giving us a sense of what is possible in this world, and holds a PhD in pataphysically infused design from Umeå Institute of Design.

Recently, Isabella and Henrique published a book called Patadesign: notas pendentes de soluções imaginárias (Estereográfica, 2019), which explores relationships between design and pataphysics through principles such as Uselessness, Absurdity, Humor, Ambiguity, among others. In 2018, Søren published his PhD thesis The Science of Imagining Solutions: Design Becoming Conscious of Itself Through Design, documenting the prototyping of a pataphysically infused design practice. Now, aligned in syzygy, the three created the Patadesign School in order to develop educational experiments that answer the crying need for bringing pataphysics and contemporary design into even closer orbit.


Honorific Omnipresence: $0

(limited spots, please motivate in application)

Irregular Luminary: $50
Restless Enigma: $75
Ulterior Sphinx: $150
Splendorous Vitória-Régia: $300


While pataphysics is a timeless impulse in and of itself, it was most eloquently formulated at the dawn of the 20th century by French author Alfred Jarry. In his work Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician: A Neo-Scientific Novel (1911), Jarry defined pataphysics as the science of imaginary solutions, as the science of the particular (rather than the science of the general), and as that which examines the laws governing exceptions.

Jarry’s ideas influenced some of the European avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, such as Dada and Surrealism, and later Situationist International. In 1948, The Collège de ’Pataphysique was founded in Paris, France. While the world at large continues to be inhabited by unconscious pataphysicians, the Collège is an institution dedicated to the conscious dwell in the science of sciences. The subjects of the research carried out by members of the Collège de ’Pataphysique range from Aesthetic Mechanics and Comparative Graphology to Crocodilology, and activities at the institution include meeting banquets at the Restaurant Polidor, publication of journals of different sorts, and practical work. One experimental subcommittee that took place in the Collège was the workshop of potential literature (Oulipo), which used extreme self-imposed restrictions as part of the creative process, and included members such as François Le Lionnais, Georges Perec and Italo Calvino.

Just as Jarry’s radiant writings continue to find new readers, so have further local pataphysical institutes and colleges since sprung up across the world, with intricate hierarchies, overly bureaucratic infrastructures, glorious feasts, and even pataphysical calendars. Examples of these institutions include the Longevo Instituto de Altos Estudios Patafísicos de UBuenos Aires, and the London Institute of ’Pataphysics.

Inspired by this tradition and following the increasing acknowledgement of the pataphysics of design, the Patadesign School will consciously examine, formulate and experiment with ways in which pataphysics and design sing along with each other.

R&FAQ / Rarely & Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join?
As mentioned, we welcome designers of all different colors and flavors. There are no pre-requirements to join the School – we are looking for curious minds from around the world who are eager to engage with the pataphysical dimension of design. To keep it small and allow for a closer connection between participants, we will have 20 seats in the ship for this first edition.

Which language(s) will the School be using?
For this first edition and for bureaucratic purposes, the School will be using English as its primary working language. We do however also speak Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Spanish and German (just a bit), and encourage other languages being spoken between participants and in the course of the exercises. The School will coincide with parallel in-person events in Brasilia and possibly elsewhere.

What is the (duration of the) workload?
Between September 8 and 22 (vulg.), we are expecting to have 5 online live encounters of 3–4 hours each, interspersed with 5 site-specific design making activities of 1–2 hours each. In other words, we will all convene virtually for 5 non-consecutive days and will be assigned activities to do in-between. A more detailed programme will be posted in the near future.

Can I do this alongside my full time work?
We are happy to say yes, but it actually depends on your work situation. We recommend that you check the workload question above to see if it’s possible to accommodate the School's activities to your work routine. We are trying to accommodate different time zones in the live exchange moments (see question about time zones below), so there is a high chance those will occur at unconventional (non-commercial) hours of day, possibly early in the morning, lunch time or evening.

How will you accommodate different time zones?
We are trying our best to make a time zone friendly programme. Being ourselves in different time zones, in the last months we have been trying out different possibilities especially within the triangle Brasilia–Copenhagen–Melbourne. Our temporary solution to that imaginary problem is to allocate our live encounters at early mornings–midday–evenings, so that many people can join with only a slight inconvenience. That said, you should also expect to be invited to some optional reading together sessions in the middle of the night.

Do I need to study pataphysics in order to apply and attend?
No particular background or experience in pataphysics is required. Of course there is the fact that everyone is a pataphysician, whether you explicitly know it or not. If you are to this date among the vast majority of unconscious pataphysical minds, the School might be an exciting opportunity for you to enjoy the delight and imperturbability of bringing your pataphysical nature to consciousness.

How much does it cost?
We will have a range of fee options for you to choose from, according to your situation. We are an autonomous institution with no salaries or external funding – the fees are destined to cover the costs of running the School. We acknowledge we are living in uncertain times and are trying to make it as accessible as possible and greatly appreciate your understanding and support. All fees in USD.

Honorific Omnipresence: $0
(limited spots, please motivate in application)
Irregular Luminary: $50
Restless Enigma: $75
Ulterior Sphinx: $150
Splendorous Vitória-Régia: $300

On receiving payment we will provide you with an invoice, along with any additional documentation of your attendance required for any reimbursement from your workplace/university/organization.

How can I apply?
Applications are open! The bureaucracy involved will consist of an application-form accessed through this website, which will ask useless questions such as basic information for you to introduce yourself, your location, and motivations to join the School. There will be a quick, yet excruciatingly thorough selection process and selected participants will complete their registration alongside the payment of a fee (check fee options above). Applications for the first edition are due June 20, and after getting a response, participants should pay and confirm their registration by July 16.

Will I get a certificate upon successful completion?
Absolutely you will. Be aware that the Patadesign School certificate comes with a considerable risk of making other academic or work related certifications and accreditations look like cheap counterfeits.

How will the School be documented?
We are planning for participants' individual and collective experiments to be documented in a publication at the end of the School, as the headaches and heartaches from the climactic banquet have come to pass.


The Patadesign School is an exceptional school of exceptions. Responding to a crying need in the design community, and the world at large, the Patadesign School designed itself into existence. It is an autonomous institution that sets out to consciously bring out the pataphysical dimension of design, with the mission of offering a critical response to the role of design in the age of the artificial. The Patadesign School was founded by Isabella Brandalise, Henrique Eira, and Dr. Søren Rosenbak.

Ethernity, the first edition of the Patadesign School, will be commencing on the first day of year 149 of the Pataphysical Era, running from 1–15 Absolute 149 (September 8–22, 2021 vulg.)

Instagram @patadesignschool
Twitter @exceptionschool