In response to Through Process Episode 10, Stop Sucking So Hard
Hi, just listened to your latest Through Process podcast — first time — and had a few thoughts I thought I’d share.
I have trouble coming to terms with the whole idea of ‘design criticism’, though I respect its history, and think it necessary for design ending up where it is today.
While we may not be swimming in academic journals of design criticism there are definitely places to take part in conversation surrounding these ideas. There are many conversations taking place, the most interesting being those where design itself is not the subject.
Before studying the discipline at a graduate level I was fixated on the notion that “design theory” had to be specifically tied to “graphic design”. It’s scope is so much broader, dealing with art, philosophy, economy, politics, anthropology, sociology…
When referring to the student project contrasting two data sets there was a realization that the personally-driven projects were self-involved and vapid, but the single project that reached outside of the personal scope, to a real issue outside of the self, ‘won’. Just so with design.
Designers writing/designing about design seems like masturbation, very self-serving.
Even so, there are very interesting conversations taking place *right now* involving this new generation of designers.
For all the hate they get on the internet and elsewhere addressing the aesthetic itself of the ‘Yale Aesthetic’ is missing the point entirely.
It seems counter-intuitive to bemoan the design community and the new generation of graphic designers for not having critical discourse and then mock one of the biggest institutions in the US pumping out very critical discourse…
I’m not so lucky as to be part of the Yale Mafia, but have met quite a few people since moving to New York City and respect them and their work immensely. I think that Eric Hu’s response to some hate is very succinct and provides a bit of insight: http://e-r-h.tumblr.com/post/66212308229/what-are-the-downfalls-of-the-popularity-or
I, too, am a huge advocate of Twitter, there is so much conversation going on, and the potential to bring people together is unparalleled. But beyond Twitter discourse IRL is going on full force (cultural institutions, schools, discussion groups, design/taco clubs), and those interested in these topics should actively participate in them.
The biggest misstep of the new identity system for The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City was to commission a studio from Holland ran by three white Europeans.