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ADRIAN MADLENER

The Dilettante’s Dilemma


First Activists, Critics, Nutritionists, Housewives, Entertainers, Street Performers, Inventors, Plumbers, Philosophers, Spin Doctors, Forecasters, Fortune Tellers, Connectors, Bus Drivers, ect‌ but then, but only maybe then Designers as well.


Imagine

a time and place where nothing goes wrong.

where happiness is not an option but rather law.

In

A

place were no one speaks ill of anything,

this world everyone is unique, an individual, every-

one has something to say about everything and everyone-else seemingly listens. want whenever they want.

Now,

People

do what ever they

imagine a time and place where individuals, blindly, follow their own paths expecting ev-

eryone else to follow but really no one does.

This

is a place where everyone speaks over each other,

not listening, blurting out unfounded criticisms of everything around them.

Not

surprisingly, people do

what ever they want whenever they want and some how avoid the consequences but not for long.

These

two scenarios are not all that different, in fact they are arguably closer to our present

reality then we think.

In our Post-Modernist society, the individual has become an unquestioned force. Modernism might have promoted a somewhat utopian ideal of the collective, the collective of many individuals, but over time, Post-Modernism has blatantly destroyed the foundations of an empathetic society. Where there was once a yearning to achieve a level playing field of exchange there is now a breading ground for subversive arrogance that has superficially masked itself in so-called good intentions, anything from ‘social awareness’ or to the frequent use of terms such as ‘elitism’, meant to silence any contradictions that might threaten the dogma of selfish individualism. Human

nature?

Being an individual is at the core of human nature but to what extent, when do we become citizens? The ability to communicate between one another does not only manifest itself through mundane small talk or loud displays of identity but also through respect and mutual understanding. Contrary to common believe, being amicable does not constitute shoving your opinion down someone’s throat. Where does responsibility come into play, when considering the fact that our generation has been indoctrinated with the fundamentals of compassion in understanding the world around us? It is undoubtedly a question of qualification not naive assumption, the tools that allow us to achieve a certain consciousness that protects against reckless behavior that is so rancid today. An

individual and a designer, really?

As

the designers of tomorrow, we are the most vulnerable to selfish individualism, not in terms

of the traditional definition of ego but rather based on the currently challenged fundamentals of our profession.

What

tools are being provided and are they right ones?

Are

designers qualified to better

people lives or has our creative domain purely become a forum for the incestual discussion of design.

As

individuals, can we really be objective in understanding the needs and wants of people within a climate dominated by personal rather then collective interest?

As

reflective thinkers within

Post Modernism Of course

it would seem impossible to attain our goals, what is left then, our skills and know how?

the climate does not allow for these elements to function on their own anymore, maybe even negating it altogether, being expressive and conceptual demands more but isn’t it just another superficial ploy or self-entitled status?

Do

our assumptions constitute good

‘research?’ In

truth, it is near impossible

to be a designer in our current climate, let alone have the qualifications to hijack other professional titles merely for the momentary hyped

‘one-liner’

value.

There

is no excuse for our lack of awareness

or knowledge, by establishing intellectual dominance from this vantage point is criminal.

How

do we move forward?

Arguably

individualism can level the playing field, establishing honesty and disestablishing fri-

volity but in reality, there little that is not subject to superficial and arrogant demise, not excluding assumption.

At

the end of day, it remains a question of self-worth and labeling from which we define

who is qualified.

It is not useful to bask in the nostalgia of Modernism but to realize the spiraling Post-Modernism. Some have called it the society of idiots and even “The Fall of Public Man,” a book by Richard Sennet. Though the idea of a designer’s capability to take on, for example, the social sciences, without proper resources and training is ludicrous, the possibility of providing tools could be possible. down fall of


Oxford Standard Dictionary defines dilettante as: “a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.�


2011


The Dilettante's Dilemma