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By pev (February 1, 2009) (,)

It’s hard to know exactly what to respond to here, because the scope of this week’s reading was very broad. Dan Lockton’s chart and essays discussing the nature of Design with Intent seems like a good jumping-off point, and a good starting point for objectively criticising any design project you can imagine. The axes of social benefit vs commercial benefit vs the immediate utility of a technology is intuitive and obvious once explained, but the ideas are useful and interesting to think about. Lockton’s other means of analyzing technologies by placing them in the spectrum between coercive and persuasive also seems obvious once you think about it, but incredibly useful.

One idea that was touched upon in the designing with intent section was the notion of the creator’s intent versus the perceived intent of a work. The ultimate interpretation of any piece of design can be completely different, and this is always a problem in art, architecture, information design, and any other discipline where a designer’s work reaches many eyeballs. These ideas are particularly relevant to ITP where we create experimental and often subversive projects and regularly release them into the wild. It also is relevant to the discussion of reverse engineering and design intervention. Interpretations change, technologies evolve, and the persuasive methods can move along any of the axes.

It’s a bit simplistic to say that advertising simply feeds off of the artist, although this is often the case. In a globalized consumer society advertising also dominates the interesection between culture and capitalism, and so many artists draw their inspiration from advertising as a dominant persuasive force. The postmodern trend of commenting on these societal constructs – ie, social networks, corporate entities, brand personalities is exciting and interesting, but it also points out how fast the creative half-life has become. Art has been commodified to a large extent.


February 1, 2009


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