Models of Design: envisioning a future design education
This article offers a large-scale view of how design fits in the world economy today, as well as the role of design education in preparing designers for their economic and professional role. The current context of design involves broad-based historical changes, including a major redistribution of geopolitical and industrial power from the West to the East. A model of six global economies delineates the challenge and opportunity for design practice and education. While the six economies developed over time, all now fit together and design creates value in different ways across them. Understanding the economic context of design education gives clarity to the educational mission, differentiating it from other forms of education. The author argues that design professionals now require a broad range of analytical, conceptual and creative skills related to the social and economic context of design, along with advanced skills in a design specialty. A taxonomic chart of design knowledge delineates the range of skills and knowledge domains involved.
The context in which we live exerts a decisive influence on the nature of education, and determines the meaning of what it is to be educated. History, economics and politics shape the nature of our times and the education that suits them. Design education today takes place in the context of a post-industrial society and the industrial age that gave rise to it. It also takes place in the context of the multiple economies that weave together to shape our times. To understand what design education is today – and what it must become – requires us to understand the changing shape of the contemporary industrial economy against the global background of the new Asia-Pacific century.
The rise of China as the world’s second most powerful economy challenges the assumptions of western industrial democracies. Eric X. Li recently argued in the New York Times that the competition between the West and China is not a clash between democracy and authoritarianism, with democracy is an obvious and necessary goal. He argues that a ‘form of government, or any political system for that matter, [is] merely [...] a means to achieving larger national ends’ (Li, 2012).
Li poses the two great experiments in democracy against the durability of China. Athens was the world’s first experiment in democracy, but lasted little longer than a century and a half. Democracy in the modern West is the second such experiment; but democracy as a system within which each citizen has one vote is less than a century old.
For Li, the contemporary experiment in democracy dates to the European Enlightenment and the success of the Industrial Revolution. He argues that the current politics of democracy is leading to the uncontrolled and unequal accumulation of wealth – a form of excess that will shape a modern version of the demagogy that destroyed Athens. Li quotes Nobel Laureate Michael Spence (as quoted in Kristof, 2011) on the shift from ‘one propertied man, one vote; to one man, one vote; to one person, one vote; trending to one dollar, one vote’. In the 1780s, Pennsylvania politician William Findlay articulated the central rationale for interest-group politics. This worked reasonably well in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a world in which America was one power among many. When America holds a position as the world’s most influential economy, the triumph of special interests affect more than the greater society of the United States: they dominate the globe (Wood, 2003, pp.165–66; see also Cornell, 1999). Today, the once plausible democracy of Findlay’s special interests has given way to the paid-for politics of the new demagogues. One result is the struggle of western industrial democracies and the difficulty they have creating enough decent jobs to support all their citizens, themselves and their families with dignity. Since most design professions involve shaping goods and services within large industrial economies, this political-economic context is one key to the realities of design education today and in the future.
The profession for which we educate designers today takes place against a context with several dimensions. One of these is the context of the democratic industrial societies that gave birth to (and require) design services. At the same time, other models of industrial society are reshaping the world.
The clash between Chinese dissidents and the government at Tiananmen Square in 1989 rendered the conflict between the democracy of individual freedom and organized state economies visible (for example, see Thornton, 2000, pp.162–87). This conflict became visible again in the global financial crisis of the current decade. The radical power of financial interests to uproot businesses and destroy individual lives has grown in the wake of deregulation. In this era, legislators in the world’s greatest industrial economy redesigned the tax system to distribute wealth upward to the wealthiest one tenth of one percent of the population. In turn, increasing their wealth and their capacity as an interest group to reshape the economy increases the wealth of those who benefit from systemic change, despite the fact that the system as a whole grows poorer. On a global basis, an even smaller percentage of the world’s population shares the world’s wealth. One result has been to hollow out manufacturing and the productive capacity that once defined industrial democracy.
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In a searing 2012 Guardian op-ed, Hannah Azieb Pool took Western fashion designers to task for their so-called African inspired clothing. “Dear Fashion”, she wrote “Africa is a continent, not a country. Can you imagine anyone describing a fashion trend as ‘European-inspired?’ Of course not. It’s meaningless.” Now, with Fashion Cities Africa, Pool aims to correct the misconceptions about African fashion scenes and capturing the depth and breadth of truly African fashion.
Tied to the Fashion Cities Africa exhibition at the Brighton Museum, the book gives much-needed attention to four key African fashion scenes: Nairobi, Lagos, Casablanca and Johannesburg – one from each region of the continent. Filled with interviews of leading African fashion designers, stylists and commentators, alongside hundreds of exclusive street-style images, Fashion Cities Africa is a landmark book that should be celebrated in fashion houses the world over.
For more information on the exhibition at the Brighton Museum please Click here
Further information on Fashion Cities Africa: www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=5183/
Ohio State University presents Journal of Short Film, Volume 36
From animation to live action, narrative to augmented-reality essay, The Journal of Short Film, Volume 36 brings together films produced in an array of styles and modes. In spite of their diversity, all of these films deal with the connections that, for better and for worse, define human beings’ experiences of the world: connections with other people, with nature, and with higher powers. The films are interested in visualizing how these formative connections emerge and how they break down. They explore the simultaneously creative and destructive aspects of relationships, at a time when our relationship with the screen – liberated from the theatre and the living room and appearing in our palms, cars, and glasses – seems increasingly primary. The Journal of Short Film is in partnership with Intellect's Short Film Studies, now entering its seventh volume.
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This issue features:
- Bye-Bye Blackbird, Gaia Bonsignore (2013). A conversational but visually complex live-action short, Bye-Bye Blackbird transports the viewer from a bedroom, to a deserted country road, to the beach, and back. Repeatedly reframing reality as artifice, the film reflects on the power of travel, imagination, and storytelling. (15:30)
- Animation Hotline, Dustin Grella (2013). Animation Hotline is a series of animated micro-shorts based on anonymous messages left on the artist’s voicemail. Kinetic, chalkboard-style drawings illustrate and provide ironic counterpoint to the words of the eclectic speakers’ sometimes insightful, sometimes bizarre anecdotes. (5:24)
- Three-O-Seven, Spencer Howson and Cole Becker (2014). A detective investigating a puzzling murder quickly finds himself locked in a dangerous game with a smart, calculating killer. In its setting and visual style, Three-O-Seven situates itself squarely in the tradition of film noir, even as its frenetic handheld camerawork suggests the influence of more contemporary procedurals. (8:53)
- The Umbrella Factory, Nick and Lexie Trivundza (2013). Spare animations harkening back to the Victorian Era bring a narrator’s macabre tale to life in The Umbrella Factory. One rainy evening, a traveler knocks on the door of three brothers’ house, offering them a wish-granting talisman in exchange for room and board. The brothers attempt to exploit the talisman’s powers, failing to heed the old adage, Be careful what you wish for. (3:52)
- Jump, Franz Ross and Dara Eliacin (2014). Jump is a silent film with musical accompaniment, which relies on point-of-view editing and actor movement for its effects. In this tragicomic vignette, the paraphernalia of a playground frustrates and eventually enables two young children’s effort to play together. (2:19)
- Street Views, Annie Berman (2013). Set in New York City’s West Village, but “shot” almost entirely within Google’s Street View, this subtle essay film explores how virtual mapping alters our experience of space and identity. Street Views is a somnambulist tour, which defies natural laws of perspective, time, and continuity, allowing one to get lost without ever straying from the map. (8:10) www.annieberman.net, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Big Willow, Jared Katsiane (2013). Blurring the line between dramatic narrative and observational documentary, Willow offers an elliptical narrative about an aspiring artist facing the impending destruction of his favorite subject, “Big Willow.” Through the juxtaposition of the artist’s younger sister’s voiceover and often impressionistic images, the film makes the eponymous tree a potent symbol of hope and frustration. (10:29) www.jaredkatsiane.com
- Teddy, Margaret Orr (2014). In this animated short, a stuffed toy acts heroically to protect a sleeping child from the monster lurking under the bed. With its unusual blend of the cute and the violent, Teddy offers intriguing echoes of Edwin Porter’s groundbreaking novelty film, The “Teddy” Bears (Edison, 1907), which introduced the iconic toy to the American screen. (1:47)
- A Well-Proved Helpmate, Richard Bailey (2013). Speaking directly into the camera, folk preacher Pontain Mitchell attempts to explain his beliefs and ministerial practices. As decontextualized images punctuate his discourse, A Well-Proved Helpmate becomes a meditation on the limitations of linguistic sense and the evocative powers of the word. (14:35)
Drama Therapy Review: Call for Papers Special Issue (3.1): The Influence of Robert Landy on the Field of Drama Therapy. Submission deadline: August 1, 2016. Guest Co-Editor: Maria Hodermarska
For this special issue, we invite articles that examine and illustrate the influence of Dr. Robert Landy on the field of drama therapy. In particular, we encourage studies that draw upon his role theory and method.
Dr. Robert Landy is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) and Board Certified Trainer (BCT). A pioneer in the profession of drama therapy, he founded the drama therapy program at New York University in 1984 and has lectured and trained professionals internationally. As a drama therapist, Landy has more than 35 years of clinical experience, having treated children and adults with a wide range of psychiatric, cognitive and adjustment challenges. He has worked in prisons, developing programs to treat mentally ill offenders, as well as the general population within New York State correctional facilities.
As a researcher and writer, Landy has published and produced numerous books, articles, films and plays in the fields of drama, drama therapy, educational theatre, musical theatre and related topics. He has been featured in the media in the educational CBS-TV series Drama in Education, the award-winning documentary film, Standing Tall, and his own production, Three Approaches to Drama Therapy. Persona and Performance was one of the first full-length books to articulate a theory and method of drama therapy, focusing on a postmodern understanding of self as made up of a variety of roles chosen and given that might also point towards an effective action-based method for greater wellbeing. His book The Couch and the Stage: Integrating Words and Action in Psychotherapy (2008) examined the relationship between psychotherapy and drama therapy, articulating a long history of action methods and embodiment being considered part of psychological healing. His book (with David Montgomery), Theatre for Change: Education, Social Action, Therapy (2012), examined the relationship between drama therapy and applied forms of theatre. Dr. Landy and his colleagues continue to innovate today with a groundbreaking series entitled “As Performance...” which, to date, has produced 22 original plays which illuminate the performative aspects of illness, recovery, identity and community.
General Issue 3.2. Submission deadline: February 1st, 2017.
Drama Therapy Review seeks articles that reflect the journal’s intention to document and disseminate research on the relationship between drama, theatre and wellness, and which promotes scholarship about drama therapy theory and practice. DTR profiles and critically reflects upon current and emerging practices involving the therapeutic uses of improvisation, playwriting, directing and performance in health, educational, community, organizational and theatre contexts. DTR welcomes contributions from a wide range of scholarly work including, but not limited to:
• Quantitative studies
• Qualitative analysis
• Practice and arts-based research
To submit work for consideration please download our submission guidelines or contact the editor, Nisha Sajnani: email@example.com.
Intellect is delighted to announce the new issue of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. The Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 2.2&3 is a scholarly forum for the presentation of new research in to and critical debate on or concerned with the subject of contemporary Chinese art.
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Individual paper and panel contributions are welcomed for the fifth annual international conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA), to be held at the Université Paris Ouest in Nanterre, just outside Paris (Faculty of Foreign Languages and Cultures), July 20th – 22nd, 2016.
EUPOP 2016 will explore European popular culture in all its various forms. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the following topics: European Film (past and present), Television, Music, Celebrity, The Body, Fashion, New Media, Popular Literature and Graphic Novels, Queer Studies, Sport, Curation, and Digital Culture.
The closing date for this call is Thursday 31st March, 2016.
There will be opportunities for networking and publishing within the EPCA. Presenters at EUPOP 2016 will be encouraged to develop their papers for publication in a number of Intellect journals, including the EPCA’s Journal of European Popular Culture. Journal editors will be working closely with strand convenors – a full list of Intellect journals is available at:
Proposals comprising a 300-word abstract, your full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word-file attachment, not a PDF) should be submitted to Graham Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 31st, 2016. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via e-mail.
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Special Issue: Displaying and Negotiating Identity: Costume and Ethnic Dress
Wearing a costume has never been relegated solely to children playing ‘dress up’. Children and adults alike utilize items of dress to display their own sense of identity. This display of identity contributes to the development of both one’s private and public self.
Furthermore, the concept of ‘fandom’ provides an arena for the study of subcultural groups, similar to brand communities or style tribes. In recent times, an increased interest in historic folkways and genealogy, as well as a resurgence in the popularity of comic books, has allowed a new generation of fans of all ages to participate in costume dressing. Additionally, popular television series like Game of Thrones make a supposed fantasy world into a seeming reality, while shows like CBS’s Big Bang Theory elevate the idea of cosplay to new heights.
This special issue of Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is aimed at all aspects of costume dressing and understanding the motivations and implications of such displays, as well as the intersections and negotiations of identity among and between subcultural groups.
Manuscripts and abstracts should be submitted by 1 February 2017 to Holly Lentz-Schiller at email@example.com or Takisha Toler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion is currently accepting submissions for a special focus issue on Fashion and Style Icons. The deadline to submit is 15 December 2016.
This focus issue will examine individuals and groups of people who influence(d) how men dress, departed from sartorial conventions, expanded the concept of ‘men’s style’, or whose own aesthetic presentations were/are unique to warrant analysis. Manuscripts can focus on specific individuals or general groups of people, real or fictional.
Contributions are welcome from all disciplines including: fashion studies, anthropology, art, art history, design, business, consumer studies, cultural studies, economics, gender studies, humanities, literature, marketing, psychology, queer studies, religion, sociology, and textiles. Diverse methods including critical analysis, reportage, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis and arts methods are accepted.
Please send manuscripts and questions to: Dr. Andy Reilly, Editor, email@example.com
Please feel free to circulate this call broadly to colleagues who may be interested.
Intellect is thrilled to announce the new issue of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 2.3 explores the cultural aspects of urban life and delves into the representation of cities within particular arts products such as novels, videogames and films.
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Intellect is delighted to announce the new issue of Metal Music Studies 2.1. Metal Music Studies is explicitly multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary: embracing both musicological research and music theory about metal music, and social scientific and humanistic research about metal music as a genre.
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