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01 | The cover of the publication unfolds into a graphic mapping of correlations between the design profession and military sector from 1916 to 2016.

 
 

 This publication establishes a critique towards the design practice in regards to materialism and its thrive on consumerism. It positions the profession in dependence of (re)productive and extractive industries and the rise of a capitalist consumer-culture. The text analyses power relations in and around design, how businesses instrumentalise design, how it shapes and propagates desire and behaviour and through that directs social and normative ideologies. The publication includes an account of emerging systems and strategies, that provide alternatives around consumption, production and exchange.

Design is/as War marks a position for design as a force between destruction and innovation – a position in which war also resides.

War as a term is used metaphorically and - to some extend - analogically to discuss harm, destruction, force and background techniques related to the design-profession and the sectors it depends on. The text is subsequently structured in a comparison of the forces of Design and War in two parts:

1. Design is War explores the destructiveness of design in an analogy to warfare. It looks at the forces of a design's mass-consumerism and mass-production to climate change, resource scarcity, migration of people (+ migrant labour), maintenance of inequality and the supply of power.

2. Design as War reflects on opportunities through this force, as it highlights the entanglement and influence of the creative practice with mechanism of power (markets, economies, culture). Alternative and emerging systems are discussed within this part.

The cover of the publication unfolds into a graphic visual mapping of correlations between design and the military sector within the past century.

Printed through Publication Studio Rotterdam, NL, 2016. 

Presented within Design Matters #20: Designer Manifesto, Parkhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, NL, 2017.