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Which clippings match 'Mutable' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 MAY 2011

Multiple media has led to a non-media-specificity in practice

"Graphic design as a discrete discipline has changed greatly during its lifetime and continues to change. It changes with the society it practices within, with technology and with its own internal growth as a practice. These changes to practice have included the move into new media as they have arisen or developed with technology; print, motion, interactive, and environmental. This move into multiple media and areas of discourse has challenged the discipline, asking designers to adapt to numerous new areas and yet continue to maintain standards of education and professional practice. Along with these challenges, which appeared largely due to the advent of affordable digital capabilities in the late twentieth century, new opportunities for growth and development in the practice have become possible.

The movement into multiple media has led to a non–media–specificity in practice. Graphic designers no longer work just in print, or even just visually. Dimensions of time, interactivity, space and sound have entered the discipline. Beyond the release from media specificity this has led to a separation from media. No longer the focus of the practice, the design artefacts, and the media that support them, have become the vehicle through which the work of the discipline is materialised. This has allowed the practice to become aware of itself in a completely different way, bringing into mindfulness its broader role and the broader concerns of that role. In an era of ubiquitous access to the means of production, the discipline has been forced to ask itself what it offers beyond the production of the designed artefact. This, along with a maturation of the self image, has led to the sense that the term 'graphic' might no longer have a broad enough scope to describe the practice."

(Neal Haslem, p.22)

2). Haslem, N. (2009). "Communication design: towards a 'socially–situated' practice." Visual:Design:Scholarship Research Journal of the Australian Graphic Design Association 4(1): 20–28.



Simon Perkins
21 MAY 2011

Communication Design: defined, standardised, professionally certified?

"So now there's yet someone else adding to the pile of what they feel is 'the' definition, when it's really just 'their' definition. I have mine, Bass has his. Rand had his. I bet Armin has his. Bierut, Scher, Danziger,, Bantjes has hers, and the list goes on an on and each definition (as well as the 'definitive' term) is always different, in semantics at least. The philosophy itself varies somewhat less, but it's no less tragic.

This should be a call, loud and clear within our industry, for certification and standardization."

(Michael Holdren, 18 April 2008, comment at Tiny Gigantic)

Holdren, M. (18 April 2008). "A comment replying to 'Communication design, the definitive definition.'" Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from–design–the–definitive–definition/#comment–27369.

[Michael Holdren attacks Josh Kamler's effort to define 'communication design' as a singularly identifiable discursive field (Kamler, 17 April 2008). In doing so Holdren criticises the effort for being simply a personal definition. This is an appropriate critique given that Kamler fails to draw on available literature in the field. In his comment Holdren calls for communication design to be defined through its standardisation and professional certification. In Basil Bernstein's terms this can be understood as a call for regulation through 'strongly classified singulars'. While this might appear logical from a professional perspective both efforts must be seen as being misguided because they ignore the essential character of communication design. Both efforts are attempts to stall the process of 'disciplinary recontextualisation' which continues to form and reshape the boundaries of communication design and which provides its essential utility as a means for adapting to change.]

Kamler, J. (17 April 2008). "Communication design, the definitive definition." Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from–design–the–definitive–definition/.



Armin Hofmann • certificationclassificationcommunication designdisciplinary classificationdiscourseJosh Kamler • Language in Common (website) • Louis Danziger • Marian Bantjes • Michael Bierut • Michael Holdren • mutablePaul RandPaula Scher • personal definition • porous boundariesprofessional association for designprofessional certificationrecontextualisationrecontextualisation of knowledgeregionalisation of knowledge • regionalised discourse • regulationSaul BasssingularsstandardisationTiny Gigantic (website)


Simon Perkins
15 MAY 2011

Multimedia's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character

"In the wake of post–modernist practice, computer–based media has resisted definition –– and for good reason: definitions are confining. They reduce the range of potential in the object defined by drawing attention away from what lies outside the wall of definition. This is a particular concern with new media, because one of its attractions is its fluid, multifarious character, its permeable walls. Digital media's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character. But there is value in proposing and discussing alternative definitions of digital media –– even if these definitions are contingent, bracketed by circumstances. In fact, it may be best to regard them as contingent, because our experience with digital media is so fresh, and where it leads so unclear. The definitions of today will inevitably be replaced tomorrow, as new applications for digital media emerge over time. Definitions are meant to establish a shared vocabulary that can focus argument –– and often, covertly, to achieve a politically motivated purpose. The purpose of our project is overt: If, as Marshall McLuhan suggests, we literally construct the world we inhabit through the design and deployment of our media technologies –– because they enable certain behaviors while discouraging others –– then the social and political ramifications of how we define and address the emerging digital media are undeniable. By identifying a subject's key characteristics, we begin to say what it is and what it is not. For digital media this is particularly critical; if the digital arts community does not lead the discussion about how to define digital multimedia, and the types of behaviors it should or shouldn't encourage, other interests, like governments and corporations, will force a definition upon us."

(Ken Jordan, 2002)

Fig.1 'The Apple–1 Computer customised with an after–market wooden enclosure with carved name and keyboard'

2). Ken Jordan (2002). 'Defining Multimedia'



2002 • alternative definitions • Apple • bracketed by circumstances • categorisationcomputer-based mediacontingentcultural technologydefinitionsdesigndigital arts • digital arts community • digital mediadigital multimedia • emergence • emerging digital mediaenabling behaviours • fluidity • hybrid form • Ken Jordan • Marshall McLuhanmedia technologiesmedium • multi-media • multifarious character • multimediamutable • Nettime • new digital media applications • new media • permeable • post-modernist practice • Postmodern • radical character • Randall Packer • reductionism • shared vocabulary


Simon Perkins

Historical Materialism: a critical resources for the de-reification of capitalism

The materialist conception of history "retains its relevance to contemporary social life insofar as it offers critical resources for the de–reification of capitalism and its various forms of appearance. It reminds us that commodification of social life, and especially commodification of labour, are not natural, necessary, universal or absolute; nor, therefore, is the separation of the political from the economic which is entailed in the capitalist wage relation. Historical materialist critiques imply that capitalism's abstraction of politics from the economy and the naturalisation of a civil society of abstract individuals are historical conditions which are open to question and hence potentially to transformation. This transformation would necessarily entail (but not necessarily be limited to) the re–politicisation and democratisation of the economy and of civil society, such that they cease to be pseudo–objective and apparently natural conditions which confront isolated individuals as an ineluctable external "reality". Rather, they would become sites for – and objects of – reflective dialogue and contestation, mutable aspects of a broad process of social self–determination, explicitly political."

(M. Scott Solomon and Mark Rupert, Syracuse University)



abstractionsbusinesscapital accumulationcapitalismcommodificationcontestationdialogueeconomyfirm • historical materialism • Mark Rupert • Michael Scott Solomon • mutableproductionreflective process
18 JANUARY 2005

Architecture of Change: Design Adjusts to the Age of Flux

"The Architecture of Change is a paradigm shift that embraces the transience in today's culture and life in an age that worships change. We are the most news–centric generation ever, ruled by flux and mobility. Process is as important as the continually morphing goals. We are beset with styles, trends and other forces of change. A new means to help sustain our adaptability in the built world is rapidly emerging and can be termed The Architecture of Change. It frees us from buildings and environments that are bland boxes made of immutable materials and mute walls. It enables us to design with more emotion, and deliver experiences driven by content and meaning."
(Richard Foy, 15 October 2004, Design Intelligence)


activityadaptabilityarchitecture • architecture of change • bland boxes • buildings and environmentsbuilt environment • built world • change • changing styles • choreographing social experience • communication as message • communication mediumconstant change • containment • content and meaning • continually morphing goals • cultural ideas • cultural traditionscultural values • design vernacular • digital technologiesdurability • durable materials • dwellingexperienceexperience design • flux and mobility • focus on people • forces of change • human needs • immutable materials • information sharingluminosity • memorialise our enterprises • messagingmutable • mute walls • news • news-centric generation • paradigm shiftpermanence • perpetuate myths • refreshable information • shelter • staging lived experience • transiencetransparency

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