Blending and stirring design talents
“High and low craft, handcraft and technology and science and design more and more cross each others path. In this publication leading experts in the design field, as well as graduates and students share their ideas, methods and approaches on how to deal with this paradigm shift in the design discipline.”
With contributions by Robert Adolfsson, Danielle Arets (editor), Alissa van Asseldonk, Anne Couillaud, Anne Mieke Eggenkamp, Ryan Pescatore Frisk (editor), Marit van der Gevel, Carri Harwig, Katja van Heugten, Ronald Jones, Marty Lamers, Susana Cámara Leret, David Roman Lieshout, Anne Ligtenberg, Koert van Mensvoort, Catelijne van Middelkoop (editor), William Myers, Jason Page, Paul Stümpel, Mike Thompson, Arjo de Vries, Bernadine Walrecht, Anne Feikje Weidema and Julia Veldhuijzen van Zanten. Concept and design by Strange Attractors.
(Excerpts from ‘Blended’)
“The following content was written and/or collected in the months leading up to the Graduation Show of Design Academy Eindhoven in October 2012. Emotions ran high, after the academy witnessed, what was perhaps the most turbulent summer in its 65 year history. Although the educational reform was put on hold, as a result of the events which occurred at the end of school year 2011-2012, change turned out to be inevitable. The experimental propaedeutic year is proving to be successful, the Master courses are back on track and on March 15th 2013 Thomas Widdershoven was appointed as the new Creative Director and Chair of the Executive Board of the Design Academy. The advisory committee, comprising representatives from all layers of academy employees, department heads, tutors as well as students, agreed unanimously on his election.” On Social Change
“In times of crisis, the individual dreams of designing autonomous, silver lined one-offs for galleries or launching careers via the instant commercial success of a single object, often become increasingly less of a reality. Economic instability is often an factor which influences [autonomous] design to explore social processes. The impetus of contradiction however, seems to reside in the opposing nature of the actual social value as it is embedded in a project and the agenda of self interest evident in media exploitation of content which assumes the position of moral superiority. When compassion, or social empathy, becomes merely superficial or applied instead of incorporated holistically, the danger of exploring the social referent rather than the actual object of inquiry is a very real one. Occasionally, design students who are able to observe the emergence of a “social market”, and acknowledge their inability to save the entire planet, assume a position of cynicism, “Social has become the new Commercial”. By focusing on the position of the individual and social responsibility, by utilizing design processes and conducting thorough, methodologically sound, scientific research aligned with honest intentions, the social value of design is able to persevere.” On Second Nature
“As scientists embrace the potential value of exploration within the visual aspects of research, designers have incorporated elements of scientific inquiry within their creative methodologies. Tensions emerge between scientific results, which are most commonly associated with empirical data or intentions of objectivity, and the meaning implied by [autonomous] design outcomes, which are more closely aligned with subjective value. A critical suspicion of ‘pseudo scientists’ can be observed as a developing trend within fields of design. The focus has shifted from traditional discourse regarding objects of design and moves towards the exploration of visual representation and knowledge creation; as borders become less descriptive of the realities observed in the field, new criteria and methods of evaluation are necessary. The questions raised are not only ethical, as is the case with the environmental impact of human intervention, or how nano technology may alter behavior or material value (Do technological commodities and services have the ability to transcend the social structures of class?), but are also located within broader social relevance—re-assessing the role of design within a global context. Research narratives may be expressed in various forms, from traditional paper, film, and prototypes to digital interfaces and interaction. The question is not if process is able to be exhibited, but how the value of shared knowledge can become second nature to practitioners and critics in the field.”
(Strange Attractors; Ryan Pescatore Frisk and Catelijne van Middelkoop)