“The designer is a cultural construct. It is a meaning that is constantly negotiated between a number of social actors.” – Fred Lesage 1/28/2016 talking about Julier (p.45). The profession of designer is not one that has strict gatekeepers. More important is the idea of differentiation than the establishment of shared principles that decide who is and is not a designer.
Julier’s Three Historicities
Modernist – ‘form follows function’ Blocky (Bauhaus), utilitarian, free of decoration and gets the job done.
Post Modernist – Differentiating and responsive to Modernist design. It is impossible to define ‘good design’ as one clear shared characteristics. We shouldn’t try to prescribe what is good/bad design, we should go in many directions and embrace the fragmentation of taste.
Pragmatist – Brands and products are placed in context with other objects and design. Recognition that brands are as if, if not more important than the product.
Lecture Exercise: Is design dependent on differentiation? I agree with the pragmatist perspective, that branding, product, use, context and identity are inextricably linked. Especially when the channels we hear about products are so flexible and myriad, and the options for the way we use and understand our relationships to products and services are so fragmented.
Profiling the average user to fit standard distribution. We make assumptions about the user, typically that they are passive. However, the Herman Miller chair is fully adjustable so that the user is not viewed as passive – but this in itself assumes that the user is able to engage with the design situation.
History of Media Design
Appliance-based media history, designing tvs as an object with household presence. Today TVs are very modernist, the physical form is to fade away making room for the content.