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  The end of design


'The end of design' as a title is an attention grabbing trick. It suggests that design has no more value at all when clearly the agenda of these speakers is to demonstrate a re-orientation or a redefining of the activity they previously held to be design.

'The end of modern design' would be a more qualified title for the lecture but it doesn't have the same headline impact, nor does it actually describe what has come to an end.

All new design is contemporaneous or 'modern' and this is distinctly different from modernist design. Modernism has been dead for quite some time now. So what has ended then?

Social design is unlikely to replace the proposed version of design, not only because the proposition is flawed but because design has been given too much value overall.

Design is not responsible for the existence of things that have been designed. And design is not something that now has to adapt to more socialised environments or ways in which social thinking might be employed. Design is intimately linked to social thinking, it helps to give social products and environments expression but it does not provide the imperative ie. the reason these products and environments exist. Nor can design be responsible for imperatives that might be expressed within new and emerging social spaces.

Design is form-giving exclusively. It can be effectively separated from meaningful creativity. Suggesting that creativity is implicit in design is misleading. Many designers are creative and are involved in expressing imperatives and so design is often seen to be an all-encompassing activity but this view of design is not helpful in the long term.

Design has come to an end but it as an all-ecompassing activity that it has come to an end. Design really has ended but not for the reason these academics suggest.


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