WOO Spring 2018

Page 48

woo spring 2018

The Chelsea Bell Eady I am rereading the same sentence again; possibly

different world, that we wake from a dream of altruism and ardent

for the hundredth time. It is hard to take

plans to ‘be the change’ to the bleak realization that the loans must

meaning from something so vast in the context of this curtained room, with the noise of strangers close and the permeating smell of rubbing

be paid, the taxes must be filed, and the gas tank must be filled. Perhaps we thought we could change the contract from within, and now find our soft bits digested, with only the metal of irony left. Critical Design Criticism - now there’s a phrase that rolls off the

alcohol: “... the “real” expanded and swallowed

tongue. “Function is a dynamic, immaterial, and social property.”

up whole continents of social imagination

(Malpass, 2011). If this is the case, how might we incorporate

marginalizing as fantasy whatever was left.”

critical design into our commercial practices? What happens if

(Dunne, Anthony, et al, 2013). I am living in the stomach of this impossible whale of a task, an academic interpretation that has become deeply personal. I am afraid that I do not understand, or that by understanding, I am complicit with this narrowing of our collective destinies. If I reject this understanding, can I somehow still leave a foothold for alternate courses? Is something other than this Thatcher-esk, unforgiving, and ultimately, unsupportive world still possible? May 2018 will mark a milestone for myself and many of classmates, as we try to contort our understanding of design into the service of a capitalist necessity. Our student loans spill into lines of credit, and we feel the uncomfortable tightening of the noose. We know that it is a trap, but it is the trap that was designed to capture us specifically, turning us out altered, more competent to engage as creators of billions upon billions of ideas in physical form, but also so deeply inured to ‘the Real’, and so far past any hope for a

our designs are adopted? Will we be successful at making money, but cause more harm than good? Or will we go the way of so many trained designers, and get a job where we don’t have to accept the responsibility for the destruction left in our wake? When bottled water first began to become mainstream, I thought it was ludacris. Who would purchase such a thing, when there is uncontaminated tap water available in the sink? I remember my father laughing at people who bought water, when you could fill your glass for free. Perhaps it was a critical design piece gone wrong. We are taught as communication designers that it is our job to create need for the products and ideas that we are supplying design for. Little sippy food pouches for babies? Of course, so long as the plastic and aluminum packaging is filled with the appropriate organically grown strained beets and sweet potato. Another real estate website? (‘Affordable*’ ‘Luxurious’ ‘You deserve this’ ‘Treat yourself like royalty’ (*if you have an income 57% higher than the median income in Vancouver). I open the tiny bottle of water that came with my lunch and ignore the plastic taste.


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.