Who is joining the conversation:
Jan Boelen (head of master Social Design Design Academy Eindhoven)
Joseph Grima (Editor in Chief Domus)
Angela Rui (Design Editor Abitare)
Paola Antonelli (design curator MOMA)
What story does a design tell? And how far removed from its functional essence can it get before we start calling it fine art, literature or a political statement and have to find new criteria for evaluating its worth? Every design tells a story that extends beyond its practical use. When we look closely at a work’s materials, its production process, the context it was born in and the contexts it ends up in, we soon realise the degree to which a design is a “text” we can read. Over time, the discursive component of design has undergone changes. Designers’ attention has begun to shift from the object’s serviceable, functional character toward expressing a concept or making a statement. Designers are exploring the boundaries between design and other fields. Are they losing the balance or opening new vistas that enrich the discipline? In this debate, we’ll examine the discursive character of design and the legibility of design products and strategies. We’ll ask the related question of how design education can make use of the stories that are worth telling today. And we’ll look at whether it’s time to find new criteria for judging design’s value and relevance. What should our standards be for designers in public debate? The discussion will also touch on the changing role of the designer and how it’s being shaped by academies, as well as on design criticism – texts about texts.
Moderator: Tracy Metz