Fiona du Mesnildot
A rewriting of the social construct
Prizes: Keep an Eye Grant Nominee, Gijs Bakker Nominee
Department: Social Design
If we look at society as a theatre stage, we are all simultaneously actors and spectators. To define our social character in this play and to assert it we dress in elaborate costumes, we relate to objects as props, we stage ourselves, and we perform. We also look at others in the same way: how they dress, how they relate to things, how they act…to understand which role they are playing. Societal norms serve as the script while our individual performances can be called social representation, accumulating into a global play that can be understood as social order and cultural identity. As a social designer, my part in the play is to question this script on its different scales and to undermine the norms. Given that I used theatre’s structure as a metaphor for our social context, I developed a design methodology based on theatrical elements. As the designer I thus became scriptwriter and stage director. From the perspective of design as an attitude, an awareness machine, and a critical and political tool, I work to combine it with the historically critical function of theatre. My results re-script, re-stage and re-act the spectacle of our everyday in a disruptive way. Here starts the representation. The lights fade on the audience. The curtains open on a domestic stage: door, window, staircase and props… Another dollhouse*. * From A Doll’s House, a three-act play by Henrik Ibsen. 1879.