[spectre] Debate: Critical Design Discourses #1

Eric Kluitenberg epk@xs4all.nl
Wed, 28 Nov 2001 18:11:42 +0100

A  N  N  O  U  N  C  E  M  E  N  T

Critical Design Discourses #1

Visual Communication - Addressing the critical mass

Thursday December 6, 2001

De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam

Start: 20.00 hrs.

Last year the "First Things First 2000 Manifesto" appeared in various
international design magazines. It was a call to designers world-wide to
develop a more critical approach to their profession. This call was signed
by an impressive list of designers, critics, editors of design magazines,
and art directors. The authors of the manifesto claim that an increasing
number of practitioners, designers, visual communicators, are becoming
increasingly uncomfortable with a very narrow definition of their design
practice, primarily geared towards effectively packaging and selling
consumer products. Designers should address their social and political
responsibilities more consciously, and apply their problem solving skills
to the multitude of urgent social questions that require solutions.

The text of the First Things First manifesto can be found at:

Since its publication a certain discussion about the social and political
role and context of design has started, but this discussion is still very
much in its infancy. De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics in
Amsterdam, would like to provide new impulses for this discussion to unfold
and has decided to organise a first debate with a number of internationally
recognised specialist in the field of visual communication. In this debate
we primarily would like to make an inventory of the current status of
critical design discourses, well over a year after the publication of this
manifesto. There are many questions at hand; a critique of the experience
economy, sustainability, responsibility as business model, the relation of
design with the public domain, and the new multicultural and intensely
internationalised context in which design has to operate. What concrete
efforts have been made to address these questions?

Participants in the debate are; Jamie Hayton (SP) designer and head of the
design department of Fabrica (IT); Wendelin Hess (CH), graphic designer and
art-director of Grenzwert Magazin; Mieke Gerritzen (NL)
graphic designer and co-author of "Catalogue of Strategies"; and Femke
Snelting (NL) designer and member of De Geuzen - Foundation for Multivisual

The debate will be chaired by Max Bruinsma (NL), ex-editor in chief of the
design magazine Eye (London), independent critic, and 'editorial design'

The debate can be followed live via internet at: http://www.balie.nl/live

tickets & reservations:
price: Euro 7,50 (f 16,50) / E. 5,00 ( f 11,00)
opening hours box office: work days 13.00-18.00 hrs or until the start of
the program.
In the weekend 1 1/2 hour before the programs starts.
Reserve by phone: 31.20.55 35 100 during opening hours until 45 minutes
before the program starts.

De Balie
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10
1017 RR Amsterdam