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Design and Authorship seem to be contradictory notions: The autonomy of the author versus the dependency of the designer, who is confined to a context, commission, and the available means of production. And yet, Louise Schouwenberg and Jan Boelen, heads of the Master’s programmes in Contextual Design and Social Design, believe they can unify these contradictory concepts. In the margins of the text there’s the voice of a relative outsider, Ben Shai van der Wal, adding some critical notes to their reflections...

This conversation between MA Contextual Design head Louise Schouwenberg and MA Social Design head Jan Boelen and the accompanying footnotes by Ben Shai van der Wal, is the third article from ‘Questioning Design’, a magazine made by our Master departments. A copy of the magazine can be requested by sending an email to

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Louise Schouwenberg: My mother used to have an egg slicer, which seemed handy, because it would cut the egg into equal slices. However, cleaning it required an inordinate amount of time, which turned it very impractical. That such an absurdity nevertheless found its way into the homes of many, like so many other senseless paraphernalia, is primarily the result of marketing. But does marketing have anything to do with what we teach at Design Academy Eindhoven? The question that brings us here today is: Why do we need a concept like “author-designer” to explain our vision on design education? Why doesn’t the notion of “designer” suffice?

Jan Boelen: Because we want to make a distinction between designers who follow the prevailing market logic unquestioningly, and designers who question everything.

LS: Authors don’t just follow the market, which continuously demands newness for the sake of newness, and authors don’t allow their work to be dictated by technological limitations, but are driven instead by their own agenda, changing even the means of production if necessary. We should also examine the traditional notion of the author as an individual who develops their own vision. The author as mastermind, as a truly free artist who operates autonomously. This idea of the author no longer seems tenable.

JB: Every designer marks their work with their own personal stamp. In this sense, every designer is also an author, even when the final product is the result of an algorithm written by the designer.

LS: For years now, students within the Contextual Design programme have designed themselves out of the design process, as it were. They let their designs be defined by, for example, the impermanence of natural materials, external influences like the weather, the mechanical logic of manufacturing machines, or, like Giorgio Gasco currently investigates, let the combination of gravity and the upward forces of water define a shape. One would expect an author to invite such new insights into their field. To redefine design.

Theophile Blandet – Fountain of Knowledge, Cum Laude graduation project Contextual Design 2017. Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven.

JB: The quality of a choice decides whether we are dealing with a good or mediocre author. One of our Social Design students, Amandine David, involved a diverse group of people in her graduation project, each with their own highly specialised field of expertise, ranging from 3D printing to weaving. She herself hadn’t designed a thing, but she had orchestrated the entire project, connecting all those different experts. Like a film director, or an editor, she had placed those components in a new hierarchy. By doing so, she introduces a new view on the role of the designer.  

LS: In contrast to the archaic notion of the author as autonomous artist, designers usually work within strict, collaborative frameworks. The designer as author is at best co-author and is well aware of all others included in the process. How much authorship can one claim? Do graphic designers have complete freedom to convey what they want as they see fit? Architects? Product designers?  

JB: An artist’s autonomy is likewise restricted by the framework and by that which he or she already knows. No artist starts with a tabula rasa. Just like a designer, all artists sample a variety of concepts, shapes and materials.

LS: The same holds true for the author as writer. Every author relies on other people’s texts, insights which they arrange in a specific way in order to create their own text. All the choices in the process of creating a book are wrought with other voices: editors, in some cases translators, publishing houses – all the way down to the graphic design of the text. Even the most inconspicuous designer will somehow leave traces of their own insights, ideas, aesthetic sensibility and authorship in the eventual design. Finally, the reader reads the texts, and their interpretation does not necessarily coincide with the intentions of the writer, nor with those of the graphic designer. The reader introduces their own baggage, their own context. Here we might say that, although a book is technically written by only one person, it really has multiple authors.i

JB: If we were to draw an analogy between writing and product design, we might call the designer the primary author, similar to the writer. They study and interpret the world around themselves, incorporate other people’s interpretations, and proceed to design something which bespeaks their vision. Then, the design is subjected to the interpretation of those involved in the physical production process. This, of course, suggests that authorship is to be regarded as something relative. Some voices are just louder than others.ii Finally, the user or consumer takes possession of the product in his own way, thus adding to the cacophony of voices.  

LS: The different contexts in which a product ends up play an important role. There is a world of difference between looking at the design of a chair in the context of a museum, where a curator specifically positions the cultural artefact so as to imbue it with meaning and narrative, or in a commercial context, like a furniture fair, where the object is “sold” with whirling words of promise. And, of course, the context of everyday life, in which people actually use the chair, where the ‘object’ becomes a ‘thing’, and usually disappears in the background of consciousness. Philosopher Martin Heidegger differentiates between isolated ‘objects’, which one can for instance study in a museum, and ‘things’, which are connected to other things we use in daily life. The market has perverted the idea of the author-designer by merely focussing on stylistic differences between isolated objects, ignoring how design only gets meaning within relationships. When the aim to create novelty is solely driven by commercial interests, we end up with the illusion of originality and the branding of star designers – a firmament made up of personality cults.

JB: Which is usually at odds with true innovation.

LS: Not long ago we had a discussion about the difference between art and design with Arno van Roosmalen, the director of Stroom – an art centre in The Hague – who was involved as an external critic in the project Peace & Justice. One group of students had approached the subject conceptually, organising a variety of useless activities on the field opposite the Peace Palace, such as endlessly carrying water buckets from one pond to the other, back and forth. Each of these activities was accompanied by a sign that read “Waiting for Peace & Justice”. Hilarious, but it also raised some interesting questions. Van Roosmalen was pleased, but also said he was initially inclined to be harsh in his criticism, as his first response was that designers were supposed to provide answers and solutions – not raise more questions. This is a dated, yet tenacious view on the difference between art and design, and one that’s still upheld in the art world.

JB: Designers can – and even should – posit fundamental questions. Only then can they truly change something.  

LS: Curiously enough, this notion of the author-designer arose at a time when literary and art critics began to have severe doubts about the autonomy of the author and the artist. Remember the writings of Barthes and Foucault on authorship. The idea that a piece of work could be attributed to multiple authors became widely accepted within literature and art theory. While artists developed an awareness of context and other forces at work in a creative process, designers were, paradoxically, seizing autonomy. Within the field of design, this development has resulted in nonsensical specimens of ‘design-art’, usually made of very expensive materials, testifying of both a misunderstanding of design and of art. But the increasing quest for autonomy in design has also led to an exciting friction between relative autonomy and relative dependence.

JB: It is exactly this friction that students must learn to deal with.  

LS: We therefore introduce many different tutors from various backgrounds, who deal with a great variety of themes, some addressing social urgencies, some addressing abstract notions. In the first year of Contextual Design, most tutors are artists, imbuing in our students a sense of freedom and advancing their imagination and artistic skills. In my view, people need to dare to fly high, trespass the borders of design into other fields of expertise, before they land on solid grounds and become aware of contextual demands.  

JB: On the other hand, there is still a very real difference between artists and designers. An artist may commence with an air of independence, while the questions that designers struggle with are motivated by personal or external necessity. Design has implications for human interaction, for the environment, etcetera, and this is a crucial difference. As a result, the design practice demands we define autonomy differently from how it’s defined in the arts. As a designer, you make choices about the position you claim within the field. At the same time, you are always part of that field, and you realise that that very same field has shaped you as a designer.

LS: The same holds true for the arts.

JB: The personal choices you make, and the awareness that those choices are never completely your own, are part of the concept of autonomy. Indeed, also for the artist. But with design, the questions are more urgent, more demanding. Designers bear the final responsibility.  

LS: Because it is more useful to ask those questions when it comes to design, in contrast to asking questions by means of art? Doesn’t that mean a designer is also responsible for the answers?  

JB: The questions must bear within themselves the necessity of possible better alternatives.  

LS: “What is critical consciousness at bottom if not an unstoppable predilection for alternatives”, said Edward Said. In his view “oppositional knowledge” can lead to activism as it challenges questionable values in society. Designers can question the status quo and propose new ways of living and working. We challenge students to do just that, and not simply abide with the existing.

JB: Then the next question should be: are they able? Many students are fine thinkers, but they are unable to translate their visions and reflections to things like function, shape, colour and material. I see this as one of the greatest potential pitfalls for Social Design.

LS: Some projects never moving beyond a display of good intentions.

JB: And those intentions by no means lead to a liberated image of humanity per se. Look at communism: When the concept of community is lionised too fanatically, the individual is promptly forgotten. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is something I regularly have to remind my students of.

LS: With Contextual Design, there is always the looming danger of too casual a project without an awareness of social context and the ideological frame in which one operates. Sometimes being oblivious can lead to new insights, but holding on to obliviousness leads to ignorance. And that is unforgivable.

JB: We are more stringent in our demand for sensible alternatives. At Contextual Design, the demand is more implicit, or relevant at a later stage. Sometimes, at Social Design, the “why” question is asked too early in the process, which then stifles the imagination, unfortunately.

LS: In your programme, students are prompted from the very beginning to question their political and social-economic reality. We have noticed that at Contextual Design, students start by employing artistic strategies like questioning a certain situation through the medium of film, accompanied by a collection of associative images. I think that both programmes, via diverse journeys, try to teach students to boldly, and in our case more carefree, claim their own position, while also realising that there’s a myriad of consequences and implications for each decision made. They have to realise that it’s never just about a thing – that’s the most important lesson we can teach them.

JB: Each thing incorporates a larger narrative.  

LS: I think it was the strength of the conceptual platform Droog Design in its heyday to show that design held a reflection on the world that reaches beyond the thing itself and also beyond its functionality. Materials, the traces of production - all components of a design incorporate references. Every design can be ‘read’. Over the years, this has lead to some moralising ‘conceptual’ designs as well as witty ones. Even though one might argue that the Droog designs became too readable, and therefore started to miss magic and real impact, and became boring even, this doesn’t take away from the fact that Conceptual Design as a movement has triggered a great sense of awareness. As a designer, you cannot afford to be naive when it comes to the script that you implicitly incorporate in your design. Do you simply adapt to the status quo or do you aim at changing it?  

JB: Shortly before the 2018 edition of Salone de Mobile, Vitra organised a retreat in Milan centred around design, during which some interesting notions surfaced. The entire Vitra design team was present: de Bouroullecs, Grcic, Jongerius, former director Fehlbaum and many others. Implicitly, the conversation was about design authorship, about designers who obviously don’t design for themselves, who are not merely looking for a way to express their personality in a recognisable style, but those who keep asking themselves what their work means to the world. Erwan Bouroullec explained how the chairs in his family home in Northern France had straight, upright backs and neo-gothic tips at the ends, which gave their users only two options: they either had to sit as straight as a die, or bent over the table. That was how they, as young men, were deemed to sit. It was inescapable. Now, as author-designers, they question the moral codes of the society in which they grew up as well as today’s society, and the same goes for every noteworthy designer: they don’t just make something that will sell easily, they thematise problems and ask questions.

LS: Every design incorporates morality, a prescription of how to live that goes beyond the plain functionality of the thing. Konstantin Grcic is very explicit about this. Rather than trying to shape objects, he tries to shape experiences, primarily in order to speculate about future living and working. This is in sharp contrast to designers who design chairs solely to meet the demands of the present.

JB: A good author always speculates about the future.  

LS: Otherwise they are inevitably regressive – conservative at best. To be sure, the market instigates innovations in the field of technology, but rarely in the social and cultural field.iii

JB: One of the graduation projects in your programme, by Anna Aagaard Jensen, shows how author-designers are able, through their work, to raise questions about social phenomena, and how they might initiate change.

LS: She addresses the inequality between men and women and how, for example, this manifests itself in public life. While men take up space with ease, women are more inclined to inhabit as little space as possible. Using stills from American talk shows, she reveals how men tend to sit straddle-legged, taking up the entirety of the seat, while women are cramped into the corner of the seat with clenched-up legs. She also shows pictures in which women seem to be ashamed when their skirt slides up while getting out of a car. And then, there is the iconic image of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, who seductively spread her legs in order to rattle her interrogators. Anna’s final project consists of a series of curious-looking chairs that force women to sit astraddle and to claim space.iv

Anna Aagaard Jensen – A Basic Instinct, Cum Laude Graduation Project Contextual Design 2018. Photograph by Iris Rijskamp. Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven.

JB: A statement chair! She questions frames of thought. And I can imagine Vitra will one day design a similar chair, because people like Anna have brought about a change in mentality, which slowly but surely will trickle through to the general public.

LS: I doubt it. Design has multiple functions and forums. Her design is a headlong rush aimed at instigating a cultural transformation, but in the end it’s most of all a statement that will probably garner attention at exhibitions and from the media, but once the mentality has changed, will the general public still need a chair like this? There will be a time in which women will simply take the space they need.  

JB: The authors we want to educate are writers of science-fiction, in that they predict the future. Paul Preciado is an exciting thinker when it comes to fundamental cultural changes – gender, among others. As he sees it, a very slow cultural revolution has been taking place over the past several decades. A revolution that seems to be failing.v Just look at the rise of populism and xenophobia. Donald Trump! But Preciado remains hopeful and believes that we are still moving towards complete freedom, a complete emancipation from the moral concepts that are forced upon us.

LS: Projects like Anna’s, and an earlier one by Gabriel Maher, former student of Social Design, convincingly express the urgency of such a cultural transformation.  

JB: Maher was an exceptionally bright student and ever since her graduation she has continued her research of the influence of gender stereotypes on our experience of the world. She investigates how designers are able to create different images and visions on the subject of gender. Ones that match current changing ideas on this topic.  

LS: Design reveals who we are. Even the smallest things we use daily, such as this coffee mug, tell us something about being human, about our lives. This implies, design can also change who we are.

JB: The idea of relational design originated with, among others, Victor Papanek, and evolved into the concept of social design. With that came the understanding that the earlier focus on efficiency and pragmatism had actually become part of its own downfall.  

LS: The Modernist paradigm of design as a problem-solving enterprise has paradoxically caused many problems, such as the market’s endless search for new “problems” to be solved.  

JB: Design not only makes things possible but is also a limiting factor. Today, there’s a growing awareness that all of the objects we use are charged with political significance. The iPhone, this computer, the coffee in this coffee mug – they all signify something about the political and cultural contexts in which they were designed, while also influencing those contexts. Designers who are capable of playing with these notions are the ones who make a difference.

LS: And so, the old idea that design can better the world returns.

JB: Only if it becomes a critical

LS: Perhaps it’s fruitful to compare a critical design practice with design criticism as a writing practice. There must be a reason why design criticism is so rare, with the exception perhaps of graphic design.vii As a result, there’s almost no fruitful interaction between different practices. No other profession is subjected to the whims of the market as product design is and as a result, even design criticism tailors itself to the market in a way. Newspapers don’t publish articles about design in the cultural appendix but rather between the pages of lifestyle segments. Even more so, the articles themselves merely legitimate products’ existence and are usually devoid of critical analysis. On the other side of this spectrum, we see design criticism become a kind of doomsday criticism. Judging by the design symposiums of the last couple of years, the blame for our current state of affairs is all too often placed on designers, as if producers and consumers are the innocent onlookers of their whims. Too rarely, design critics approach their work from the perspective of active engagement, from the inside out, by linking critical analyses to thinking in possibilities.

JB: We consciously exclude the market from our curricula. The market pushes designers back into traditional logic, while we strive to explore radical possibilities and alternatives.viii

LS: Students must be aware of how the market works, naturally, but we abstain from the convention of many design schools to adhere to market requirements within their programmes. The old notion that design should provide answers and solutions for problems presupposes finality, closure. But a critical designer is concerned with interpreting and reinterpreting continuously and keeps thinking up alternatives.

JB: The market adapts itself very quickly to developments. If the current trend is a call for sustainability, then every marketer, and in their wake scores of designers, will claim that all products must be produced sustainably. Greenwashing is very much a commonplace practice.

LS: But do we buy it? That’s why students must allow themselves to trust their gut feeling, trust what they themselves find fascinating. Also when they oppose their tutors’ views on what is ‘critical’, ‘valuable’ and ‘interesting’. The courage to lean on their own observations ensures that students don’t merely parrot empty marketing lingo or the seemingly opposite, the guilt-ridden, culturally correct verbiage of those who claim they know better what the world needs. I applaud my students when they embrace a dissident voice and even dare to take a stand against politically correct themes like sustainability and can provide good arguments for doing so. In this sense I consider it a blessing that our students are influenced by art practices, in which taking adversary positions is common practice. Hala Tawil investigated how erotic imagery and children’s cartoons have many similarities. Is it design? Art? Does it change the world for the better or does it mainly reveal something deeply innate human, which we might have overlooked? The film she made is fantastic, funny, gross, beautiful, fuelling the viewer’s curiosity. And the objects have an enormous physical appeal. For me, there are sufficient reasons to consider this a necessary and important design project.

JB: Agreed. But, designers can’t just keep looking inward – they can’t only look at themselves. They are part of a society and must therefore develop an awareness of their position in it. 

LS: To achieve this, however, apart from being aware of the history of design and apart from knowing what is happening in the world today, it’s paramount for students to develop their intuition and rely on their humour or sense for the absurd, their aesthetic antennae and their personal reflections and criticisms. Only then can they sensibly speculate about a better, more humane, playful, and a more truthful future. They don’t have to keep building on the same old rehashed views of others. Like art, design can be disruptive in any imaginable way, without setting predefined limits.

JB: You could say that our view on education is a triangle of the political, the speculative and the relational. We speculate about possibilities and explore new relationships. Of course we must be able to take a train or a plane, or drive our cars. Of course we must be able to sit on a chair designed by a nameless designer in the name of functionality. But if we really, and actually, want to innovate that chair, for instance, then it is imperative that we think about the larger narrative.

LS: Only then can we ask whether we really need an egg slicer and twenty different kitchen knives all designed for specific tasks, and whether we need to move around the globe this fast. Or ask whether a circular economy is actually making our lives more agreeable. Or, question the presupposed meaning and higher value of the concept ‘nature’, or ‘unspoiled nature’, which various students at Contextual Design currently do in a range of provoking projects. In this respect, a thinker like Tim Morton is extremely interesting. Using his own brand of ecocriticism, he shows how the word ‘nature’ usually applies to an ethical context in order to differentiate between what is considered good or bad. For example, saying that homosexuality is unnatural, says more about whether one intends to condone its practice. Governments still use this irrational argument to legitimise malicious policies.ix Morton shows the complexity of subjects, their internal contradictions, and the deeper layers that people deny in favour of simple solutions, thus narrowing the discussion.x We need that kind of thinking.

JB: I also find Morton’s self-reflective attitude very interesting, and one I would encourage our students to take on as well. When you, as a designer, are for instance advocating a sense of community, you should put yourself to the test. Are you brave enough to confront your own demons?xi I would like to go back to the topic of critical design and design criticism. Design criticism is often the product of outsiders who analyse the world of consumer articles in a purely academic discourse.

LS: Lacking true engagement. 

JB: One can also consider the field of design critically from within and attempt to change it, like any good designer does. Taking responsibility for the cultural space they inhabit and taking responsibility for the cultural script embedded in their projects. 

Speaking of authorship… whose names should the text be assigned to? Who is responsible? It started off as a conversation between Louise Schouwenberg and Jan Boelen, in July 2018, which was then reconstructed into a text by the first. Actually, naturally, it started much earlier. Authorship in design has been an integral part of yearly broodings on the upcoming curricula of Contextual Design and Social Design, during which scores of other authors, practitioners, teachers and students were sought after for inspiration. In writing the text for this magazine, the author had to make choices, thereby killing some darlings of the two people involved in the conversation. Throughout the text and in its margins, other voices, other authors, came in who inspired the conversation and, naturally, a new voice came in with the translation of the Dutch sentences into English ones by Ben Shai van der Wal, literary critic, lecturer and translator. Schouwenberg also invited van der Wal to add comments and insights in the margins, especially where it concerned literary notions of authorship. In the awareness that the text will keep undergoing changes, finding new interpretations with every new reader, various voices can thus be “heard” in this text and its margins, which links back to the aim of educating tomorrow’s author designers who are well aware of all the voices that are included in their personal voice. 

(Note that this text differs slightly from the first printed version. A few lines in the initial text seemed to raise questions on topics that are not at stake here, therefore we've removed them.) 

  1. BvdW: A writer is dependent on language. Language is text. A writer is dependent on text in the same way we all depend on text to formulate our ideas. Those other people, then, those forebears, as you envision them, can be recognised as being given the privilege of authorship. This privilege of authorship is indeed bestowed upon certain texts – it fulfils a semantic function, and therefore is a matter of power. This text on the designer as author, for instance, is subject to these power relations that govern its manifestation. Indeed, like you said, editors, publishers and other writers – we are all huddled around this text like sculptors with our chisels at the ready. But someone decides what we are carving. If, for instance, I would take my chisel and hack a groove that is not to the liking of Boelen and Schouwenberg, who decides what to do next? To Louise Schouwenberg, I might say something like “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX” and she might decide that she doesn’t like my tone or that my comment distracts too much from the main text, and thus skip it altogether. Who, then, is in power? Who is the author? [Back]
  2. BvdW: Roland Barthes has argued that the author is no longer the one who holds power of the meaning of his own text. The reader is the one who brings their own interpretation to the text and thereby, Barthes had famously proclaimed the author as dead. Foucault has built upon Barthes’ conceptualisation of “The Death of the Author” and has shifted the question of “who/what is the author?” to “what function does the designation of authorship fulfil?” His answer: "the author serves to neutralize the contradictions that are found in a series of texts. Governing this function is the belief that there must be—at a particular level of an author's thought, of his conscious or unconscious desire—a point where contradictions are resolved, where the incompatible elements can be shown to relate to one another or to cohere around a fundamental and originating contradiction". Indeed, we seem to be doing exactly this in our “conversation”; where in the process of defining authorship do we encounter the contradiction of the multiplicity of authors? This serves to underline the function of the author in design as one that does not allow for a resolved contradiction. In fact, perhaps the author’s function in design is not to “neutralize the contradictions”, but rather to neutralise the expectation of contradiction through their work. If no design can be completely ascribed to one author, then perhaps one of the main characteristics of an author-designer is that the concept itself is multiplicitous. An author-designer is someone who screams, like Whitman famously wrote, “I contain multitudes”. [Back]
  3. BvdW: Could I say, then, that design is an agonistic endeavour? Should an author-designer be practicing a kind of critical negotiation between the society at large and their own vision? Jensen’s research shows an ideological frame, and her chairs reveal her own vision on that frame. In this sense, the author-designer is also a kind of political activist. Indeed, one might even consider Jensen’s chairs as a transgression, because they test and question the dominant hegemony of gender expectations. [Back]
  4. BvdW: Could I say, then, that design is an agonistic endeavour? Should an author-designer be practicing a kind of critical negotiation between the society at large and their own vision? Jensen’s research shows an ideological frame, and her chairs reveal her own vision on that frame. In this sense, the author-designer is also a kind of political activist. Indeed, one might even consider Jensen’s chairs as a transgression, because they test and question the dominant hegemony of gender expectations. [Back]
  5. Bob Dylan in ‘Song to Woody’: “[the revolution] is tired and it’s torn, it looks like it’s dying and it’s hardly been born” [Back]
  6. BvdW: This reminds me of Ernst van Alphen’s definition of art. He observes that art explicates the pain points of a culture in imaginative ways. How could this be translated into design? Perhaps design does not explicate but rather lets its users experience the pain points of a culture in imaginative ways? And perhaps an author-designer ensures that experience. Ernst Van Alphen. Art in Mind: How Contemporary Images Shape Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. [Back]
  7. Rick Poynor: “It is design criticism’s job to explore, explain and critique the issues raised by the designer’s critical practice or - as it might be - the designer’s lack of a critical mentality.” [Back]
  8. BvdW: But isn’t the market part of the social and political reality in which we find ourselves? Instead of thinking whether the market should be excluded from the thinking process, isn’t it more appropriate in this preliminary definition of the author-designer to acknowledge that the market always forces itself into our lives, and even into our very thoughts? [Back]
  9. BvdW: Could we consider it natural to use the concept of nature to exert power over others? [Back]
  10. Nicholas Korody: “We desire our homes to be antiseptic, isolated, and exclusively human zones. So we filter our air, spray chemicals, set out rat poison – often inadvertently poisoning ourselves in the process, like some autoimmune disorder that we’ve decided to call dwelling. In fact, this dynamic is very much at play in haunted houses of horror fiction, where pests and ghosts rebel against the imposition of domesticity. Can you speak to this?” Tim Morton: “That’s precisely it. In order to maintain smooth functioning (for humans), and to maintain the smooth functioning of this very myth of smooth functioning, a whole of violence is required behind the scenes on every level, social, psychic and philosophical. In every respect we’ve been trying to sever ourselves from other lifeforms—remember, you have them inside you and you couldn’t exist if you didn’t, and there’s more of them inside you than there is of you, so this is a major deal, this violence.” Full article. [Back]
  11. BvdW: I agree. It is one thing for LS and JB to agree with one another on the necessity of critical voices, it is a whole other ball-game for them to invite a critical voice into their very text. Is my voice such a voice? When you are advocating a celebration of criticism, then you should be put to the test. Does this strengthen the conceptualisation of the author-designer that we are trying to communicate? Can any voice that is allowed to criticise ever truly be critical? [Back]























Published: 19-Dec-2018 11:09


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    Hala Tawil - Gradual Unease, graduation project Contextual Design 2018. Image: Still from video ‘Gradual Unease’