product

Twitter  24 December 2012 | LINK | Filed in ,

Designing Culture

Great piece via Mike on design and culture in Jacobin magazine. Some choice cuts:

“Design is one of the linchpins of capitalism, because it makes alienated labor possible.

[W]hen it comes to design’s influence on social structures, the focus on consumerism distracts from something more significant and interesting. Design’s real power is that it makes relationships and divisions between people concrete. Without physical stuff to remind us of how we supposedly differ from one another, our hierarchies would be awfully ramshackle; stripped of our possessions, categories like “class” start to look like just a bunch of learned behaviors and confused ideas. Whether prohibitively priced cars, gendered garments, or separate schools for blacks and whites, social hierarchies are always maintained with the help of physical objects and spaces designed to reflect those hierarchies. Otherwise everyone’s claims of superiority and difference would be quite literally immaterial.

Once you realize that all designed objects carry this sort of encrypted information about the organization of society, something amazing happens: you suddenly stop feeling bored in home furnishings stores. Washing machines and cooking implements have a lot to say about norms surrounding domestic labor; office trash cans embody the values of a middle class that can’t deal with its own waste; alarm systems and porch lights offer a crash course in the popular phenomenology of crime. But these objects are not just passive representations of ideas about how society should run. They actively promote those ideas, validating certain prejudices and chastising us when our behavior deviates from certain norms.”

Read the rest.

>  2 September 2012 | LINK | Filed in
RT @Adweek: Droga5 Wins Grand Prix for Good for Inventing Bandages That Save Lives http://t.co/cfNra0go
Twitter  23 June 2012 | LINK | Filed in
I will not design chairs in 2012. not_chair.png A design manifesto from Finland:
“We believe that the world already has enough chairs. Designing new ones only takes time away from renovating the ones we already have. Consider this the ultimate challenge for you to rethink how sustainable design should be manifested.”
My favorite part: “Best designers think ‘how not to.’”

Added to my growing list of design manifestos.
>  8 December 2011 | LINK | Filed in ,

The Occupy Wall Street Journal


The Occupy Wall Street Journal

Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum and supporters. But what are they calling for? Read all about it in the forthcoming edition of The Occupy Wall Street Journal:

“We want to be the people’s media. Our first project is The Occupy Wall Street Journal, a four-page broadsheet newspaper with an ambitious print run of 50,000. It’s aimed at the general public. The idea is to explain what the protest is about and profile different people who have joined and why they joined. We will explain the issues involved and how the general assembly process operates at Liberty Plaza. It will also offer resources and ways to join. The emphasis will be on quality content, design, photography and artwork that uses incisive humor to make it a lively read.

Future projects include longer editions of the newspaper, bold stickers, edgy posters, colorful palm cards and inspiring flyers.

This project is a volunteer effort: every penny you donate will go directly to printing and distribution.”

Help fund printing and distribution (and get a copy for yourself) on Kickstarter until October 9, 2011.


Update 10/6/11: You can see the first edition here.

>  29 September 2011 | LINK | Filed in , , ,
Phone Story. phone_story.png Phone Story is a video game for iPhone critical of human rights violations on Apple’s iPhone supply chain. Each level in the game explores a different real-life problem in the consumer electronics life cycle. To win, players must enslave children in Congolese Coltan mines, catch suicidal workers jumping out of Chinese assembly plant windows, and conscript the poorest of the world's poor to dismantle toxic e-waste resulting from obsolete iPhones.

The game is available now for $0.99 in the App Store. Apple has removed the app from the store.
>  13 September 2011 | LINK | Filed in , , ,
Nationalist shirt changes message when you wash it. “Attendees at a nationalist, right-wing concert in Germany were duped into wearing souvenir T-shirts that at first bore a pro-nationalist stance and symbology but later revealed an anti-far right message offering assistance.…

The t-shirts originally read ‘hardcore rebels’ and sported a skull and nationalist flags. However, once the garment had been washed, the shirt revealed a new message that offered to help far-right extremists break away from the neo-Nazi scene. The message reads: ‘If your t-shirt can do it, you can do it too — we’ll help you get away from right-wing extremism.’”
Was dein T-shirt
Duping your target audience seems like a good way to alienate them. But it’s certainly a memorable action, is generating a bit of buzz, and I suspect will reach many more in the re-telling.

Bernd Wagner, the founder of Exit-Germany, the anti-racism organization behind the shirts, comments at The Guardian.
>  12 August 2011 | LINK | Filed in ,
Combat Paper. Combat Paper “The Combat Paper Project utilizes art making workshops to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences as well as broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture. Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences in the military.”
>  8 July 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,
US Arms in Bahrain. 50_caliber.jpg ”The US has sent Bahrain dozens of ‘excess’ American tanks, armored personnel carriers, and helicopter gunships. The US has also given the Bahrain Defense Force thousands of .38 caliber pistols and millions of rounds of ammunition, from large-caliber cannon shells to bullets for handguns. To take one example, the US supplied Bahrain with enough .50 caliber rounds—used in sniper rifles and machine guns—to kill every Bahraini in the kingdom four times over.“ Previously: tear gas in Egypt.
>  27 March 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,



page 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Older »