Critical Design - Reading + Response


Designing Capabilities - OTTO BON BUSCH  

    I really agree with what Otto Bon Busch has to say in this article. I think that when we can immerse ourselves into the product by contributing to its functionality, then we are creating more successful designs. Commodities surround us and are advertised to us on a daily basis in the most appealing manners. However, when we have these commodities, they can only satisfy the user for so long, and only to a certain extent. We are humans with abilities and creative minds. Usually, when a product is offered to us, we limit our capabilities to what the product has to offer. There is a means of control going on between the user and the product. The products has been designed in a certain way, to serve use to the user in a certain way. However, if this product can be crafted or modified by the user, then we are immersing the user of the design in a whole other way. This concept of internal capabilities being urgent and important versus external capabilities only scratching the surface is extremely important. 

    “So when people turn to build their own fixed-gear bicycles rather than buying the stylish Italian one, learn to knit instead of rushing off to the fashion sales, or spend the weekends baking special kinds of bread instead of going out to the supermarket getting the pre-packaged ones, we actually see people who challenge the boundaries of their market-sanctioned capabilities. They want to break out of the constraints of consumerism. They can afford to buy the commodities, but they want more than the object itself. They want to enact and cultivate their capabilities in the world.”  (p.229)

    This quote really sums up or sheds light on the main idea in this article. I think designing a product that includes not only the users interaction, but the users input in order to make the final product what it is, really gives way for innovation to take place and creativity to grow. Because not only then will the user give life to the product, but he has the choice to make it flourish and grow in other ways as well. By giving the user this freedom, we can hope to see a future where we are designing more diverse and unique product experiences that we can share, enjoy and value in a whole different way. 

CRITICAL DESIGN FAQ - Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby

    I agree with critical design, but I feel as though the designer has a say in his designs. We should understand from the designers point of view how the design was intended to make people feel or how it was intended to make people question certain things. I did not see much about the designer here, although we are talking about peoples responses to design, I think we should also take into consideration the context of the product and where it came from. Besides this point, I really believe that critical design is a positive thing. We should be thinking of designs from different points of view, more philosophically, and see how it affects our generation and how it reflects designs in that period.

    “Society has moved on but design has not, Critical Design is one of many mutations design is undergoing in an effort to remain relevant to the complex technological political, economic and social changes we are experiencing at the beginning of the 21c.” (question 5)

    Critical design in my opinion, makes design more interesting. This is because we raise points about a design that we may have never thought of before. This could lead us to improve on certain design or modify them slightly. However, no matter how critical we are in design and how much we alter a design to suit what people think is acceptable or appropriate, if we continue to be critical, we are going to continue finding things unacceptable in a design. Although this means we are on a constant path to improving a design, maybe we are digging too deep into it the design to the point where to alterations and misinterpreted ideas ruin the initial idea or impression that the design was meant to give off in the first place.

States of Design 04: Critical Design - Paola Antonelli Critic and curator, MoMA

    “The Critical Design process does not immediately lead to useful objects, but rather to food for thought whose usefulness is revealed by its ability to help others prevent and direct future outcomes. The job of critical designers is to be thorns in the side of politicians and industrialists, as well as partners for scientists or consumer advocates, while stimulating discussion and debate about the social, cultural and ethical future implications of decisions about technology made today.”

    It is amazing to see how the projects that designers are coming up with today are a response to what is happening around the globe, whether it be a social controversy or a political one or an environmental one. Today, we are becoming more and more critical when observing a design that is revealing new stories from around the worldby conveying them in different manners. We are representing our ideas with our designs that are meant to shock the public, or shed light on very important matters, or to simply trigger a response. Today, our critical design tells stories, opinions and ideas of others through visuals, so that the designer can convey his or her message to the public and trigger a response. The response says a lot about the intention of the design. Because through triggering a response, the controversial matter that has risen from the piece spreads around. This gives the story embedded within the piece the exposure it needs in order to spread, for others to respond and be critical towards as well.