Design

Introduction to Comparative Planetology

Contributor Lukáš Likavčan
Introduction to Comparative Planetology presents an intertwined analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and geopolitics of climate emergency. It compares different “figures” of the planet – the Planetary, the Globe, the Terrestrial, Earth-without-us and Spectral Earth – in order to assess their geopolitical implications. These implications are then mapped on respective prospects of these figures in developing an infrastructural space for planetary coordination of our design interventions against runaway global heating, and ultimately against mass species extinction.

Design by Accident: For a New History of Design

In Design by Accident, Alexandra Midal declares the autonomy of design, in and on its own terms. This meticulously researched work proposes not only a counterhistory but a new historiography of design, shedding light on overlooked historical landmarks and figures while reevaluating the legacies of design’s established luminaries from the nineteenth century to the present. Midal rejects both linear narratives of progress and the long-held perception of design as a footnote to the histories of fine art and architecture. By weaving critical analysis of the canon of design history and theory together, with special attention to the writings of designers ...

Made In China, Designed in California, Criticised in Europe

When everything is destined to be designed, design disappears into the everyday. We simply don’t see it anymore because it’s everywhere. This is the vanishing act of design. At this moment design registers its redundancy: our products, environments and services have been comprehensively improved. Everything has been designed to perfection and is under a permanent upgrade regime. Within such a paradigm, design is enmeshed with the capitalist logic of reproduction. But this does not come without conflicts, struggles and tensions. Chief among these is the situation of design in a planetary procession toward decay. Our dispense culture prompts a yearning ...

On the Letterform of the Age

Contributor Bo-Won Keum
Who sets the standards for communication, and why? An essay on the role of the designer in balancing program and expression, system and sense.

Active Agency

Graphic communication designers, (in a ‘Western’ context) have historically foregrounded ideas of agency through the realms of aesthetics, expression and semiotics in clear response to the proliferation of services and industries that have required their expertise. Indeed, graphic communication designers have been busy, very busy, bringing organisation to complex information, alongside the shaping and interpretation of messages. More recently, the arrival of cultural and social contexts for communications, in response to ideas of personal cultural capital, (amongst others), has marked an interruption to the former process of design within which ideas translated into output so deftly. Meanwhile, audiences following a cue ...

A *Pre-* Program for Graphic Design

A *Pre-* Program for Graphic Design is a video-based companion to A *New* Program for Graphic Design, a DIY textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental to convey advanced graphic design principles in an understandable form for students of all levels as well as general readers. Based on courses originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book was derived from a three-day lecture series held in Los Angeles, delivered to a live studio audience and video recorded. The result is a broad introduction to graphic design and visual literacy, covering a wide range of topics, from Benjamin ...

A Euro Is A Euro Is A Euro: Fieldwork In European Realism

A Euro Is A Euro Is A Euro: Fieldwork In European Realism appears in issue 2 of Fictional Journal (online only), and is reproduced in the PROPAGANDA pdf document. As a singular embodiment of matter and representation, the Euro-skulptur is as abstract as money, as tangible as cash. An essay and animations analyse the sculpture as a material symbol of the European Union. Euro cash is European Realism, it is a representation of things as they actually are, it is the sincere, un-idealised rendition of con- temporary life in the EU. we normally look at architecture, or more broadly at the built environment, ...

The Act of Reading

“Reading inquisitively over each others’ shoulders, the poems, meditations, analyses and experiments in this volume respond with audacity and adventure to the challenge of characterizing what reading, this most familiar yet renewedly strange occupation, has been and may yet become.”

AI Aesthetics

Contributor Lev Manovich
AI plays a crucial role in the global cultural ecosystem. It recommends what we should see, listen to, read, and buy. It determines how many people will see our shared content. It helps us make aesthetic decisions when we create media. In professional cultural production, AI has already been adapted to produce movie trailers, music albums, fashion items, product and web designs, architecture, etc. In this short book, Lev Manovich offers a systematic framework to help us think about cultural uses of AI today and in the future. He challenges existing ideas and gives us new concepts for understanding media, ...

Archive Has Left The Building

THIRD REPORT Two of the protagonists of the final iteration of the exhibition project The Gutenberg Galaxy at Blaker were makers of books who have had a profound influence on the archival practice of Guttorm Guttormsgaard. They were also experts in the destruction of books. A friend of Asger Jorn (1914– 1973) once noted how the Danish artist “presented a danger to any book collection” as he used to tear out pages from books belonging to others in order to create his own. Jorn’s compatriot Rudolf Broby-Johansen (1900–1987) was also a notorious book slaughterer, leaving behind a trail of books full ...

Bulletins of the Serving Library #1

An expansive statement of intent, broadly concerned with Libraries, Media, and Time (though not necessarily in that order) Angie Keefer: AN OCTOPUS IN PLAN VIEW I. The etymology of the word “octopus” Octopus. Noun. A mollusk with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft sac-like body, strong beak-like jaws, and no internal shell. A taxonomic genus within the family octopodidae. Origin: Greek, from OKTO-, meaning “eight,” plus -POUS, meaning “foot.” Plural: debatable. Rob Giampietro, David Reinfurt: FROM 1 TO 0 0: May I speak now? 1: Of course. I didn’t mean to get carried away, but— Dexter Sinister: A NOTE ON THE TIME The time right now is 2011 Feb ...

Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics

Contributor Metahaven
These are serious times, or so our governments keep telling us. Strangling economies with their austerity policies, they assure us that they have no choice. In a world where “there is no alternative”, how do you dissent? Once upon a time, graphic designers would have made political posters and typeset manifestos. Today, protest has new strategies. Enter the internet meme. With its Darwinian survival skills and its viral potential, the meme is a way of scaling up protest. Hackers and activists have learned to unleash the destructive force of a Rick Astley video. They have let slip the Lolcats of ...

Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary

Contributor Dan Hill
We live in an age of sticky problems, whether it’s climate change or the decline of the welfare state. With conventional solutions failing, a new culture of decision-making is called for. Strategic design is about applying the principles of traditional design to “big picture” systemic challenges such as healthcare, education and the environment. It redefines how problems are approached and aims to deliver more resilient solutions. In this short book, Dan Hill outlines a new vocabulary of design, one that needs to be smuggled into the upper echelons of power. He asserts that, increasingly, effective design means engaging with the ...

Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, and Perspectives

Design Struggles critically assesses the ways in which the design field is involved in creating, perpetuating, promoting and reinforcing injustice and inequality in social, political, economic, cultural and ecological systems. This book shows how this entanglement arose from Eurocentric and neoliberal thinking. The voices and practices represented here propose to question and disrupt the discipline of design from within, by problematizing the very notions of design. They aim to do so by generating new, anti-racist, post-capitalist, queer-feminist, environmentally conscious and community-based ideas on how to transform design. In this way, Design Struggles strives to forge sustainable, new practices within the ...

Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design

Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design is an exhibition showcasing rare photographs, film, high-quality reproductions, and interactive software reconstructions examining the formative period of numerical control and Computer-Aided Design technologies, along with a selection of experimental work by computational designers working today.

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