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10 DECEMBER 2011

Zoontechnica Journal redirective design futures

"A variety of designers and researchers address issues of concern to contemporary design thinking in this first issue1 of Zoontechnica (not counting the pre–issue, now archived). All grapple with questions about how design can, in more substantial ways, contribute to sustaining those things that need to be sustained, like social justice, equity, diversity and critical thinking. ...

It is now widely acknowledged that design has played a central role in creating and sustaining cultures of consumption that continue to use up resources, burn fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, and so on. What's less recognized is that these are not just biophysical problems to be solved by technologies, but that the unsustainable is often that which is closest to us, the everyday world in which we feel comfortable, secure and accommodated (herein lies a dilemma for user–centred design–what to do about user needs/desires that clearly contribute to unsustainability?). Being–in–the–world is being with designed things, structures and spaces that design our modes of being. Sometimes this is obvious, 'the designed' declaring itself as such,but mostly, the designed nature of our worlds is invisible to us, and when everything is working as it should, we feel at ease. We shouldn't. So much of what functions seamlessly now, saves time, delivers convenience, gives pleasure, etc– is actually taking futures away."

(Anne–Marie Willis, November 2011)

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TAGS

academic journal • Anne-Marie Willis • anthropometrics • being-in-the-world • biophysical • Brunel University • Chris McGinley • climate changeconsumptionconveniencecritical thinking • cultures of consumption • Daniel Sobol • designdesign futuresdesign thinkingdesigned spacesdesigned things • Donald Welch • Emmanuel Levinas • environmental change • equity • ethicseverydayfossil fuelgreenhouse gases • Griffith University • human factorshuman-centred design • Jason Robertson • Jennifer Loy • Marc Steen • modes of being • Nada Filipovic • our world • QCA Griffith University • Queensland College of Art • redesign • redirective • reflexive practice • RMIT • Robert Macredie • social changesocial justicesustainability • the designed • time savingTony Fry • unsustainability • unsustainableuser needsUser-Centred Design (UCD) • Zoontechnica

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 OCTOBER 2008

Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice

"Sustainability is now a buzzword both among professionals and scholars. However, though climate change and resource depletion are now widely recognised by business as major challenges, and while new practices like 'green design' have emerged, efforts towards change remain weak and fragmented. Exposing these limitations, 'Design Futuring' systematically presents ideas and methods for Design as an expanded ethical and professional practice. 'Design Futuring' argues that responding to ethical, political, social and ecological concerns now requires a new type of practice which recognizes design's importance in overcoming a world made unsustainable. Illustrated throughout with international case material, 'Design Futuring' presents the author's ground–breaking ideas in a coherent framework, focusing specifically on the ways in which concerns for ethics and sustainability can change the practice of Design for the twenty–first century."

(Tony Fry/Boone Bridge Books, 2008)

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TAGS

Australiaclimate change • design futuring • ecologyethicsgreen designsustainabilityTony Fry

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 AUGUST 2005

Design as an Applied Practice

"With the exception of architecture, all other professional design practices were latecomers in the history in the rise of the professions (with some still aspiring for this status). The impetus for design to become an occupation, then professional practice and eventually, a profession, came from the burgeoning industries of the industrial revolution. The passage of 'machinofacture' to mass production, and then to mass consumption and mass communication carried not just an explosion of products to be designed but also the designing of product differentiation, commercial and domestic product environments and all the facets of marketing. Design practice, as it is now understood as a cluster of distinct specialisms, arrived out a particular history.For millennia, design was inscribed in the repetition of forms and appearances of traditions of building and making, while designing was embedded, as artifice, in a variety of craft practices, however, as a consequence of the capitalist division of labour from the late 17th century onward it became developed as an increasingly distinct service of the industrial economy, its means of production, the commodity sphere, urban form and 'modern' culture. In addition to this, design practice also appropriated a number of other skill areas, not least 'decorative arts'. Clearly, this history affirms that a good deal of design intelligence pre–dated the establishment of design as an independent practice. Yet designing prior to, and immediately after, this moment lacked any formally recognised and managed design process (a feature of designing that did not gain recognition until the 20th century). This process was characterised in terms of sequential operations from initial ideas to final specification, and in conceptual stages (like, analysis, synthesis and evaluation). Rationalist and reductive attempts to model this process continually struggled to deal with the intuitive; however, in the momentum to technologically embody the design process there have been concerted efforts to create expert systems to capture functional design processes and even creativity. The rise of design tools that replicate components of design intelligence are effectively blurring the distinction between the professional designer and the general human facility to prefigure. Anyone with the money to buy design software can design a book, boat, vineyard, weekender and so on."
(Tony Fry)

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