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Narrative Design

The Designer as an Instigator of Changes


Giulia Cordin

Designers are usually considered as problem solvers: but what if, instead of solving problems, they pose them? The author opens a discussion on the role and the emerging strategies of designers in today’s society. She presents historical and contemporary perspectives through design practices committed to provide proposals and solutions to social issues. Her analysis of several case studies results in an approach to design as a narrative medium.
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Doom: Introduction by Formafantasma


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Introduction by Formafantasma

With industrialization hand-made production had to confront the capabilities of the machine: faster, cheaper and comparatively perfect. The machine in itself represents what humans will never be able to produce: not only a perfect original, but also its reproduction. Furthermore, with the Modern movement the technical capacity of mechanical reproduction became a tool for what was intended to be a democratic revolution. Modernism began with the urge to give new meaning to industrial products and it evolved into a social and cultural transformation and ended with the idea of “international style.” Geometric forms, typical elements of the international style, are symbols of the idealistic and universal pretension central to the movement. In this context, craft seemed to belong to the past: expensive, decorative and representative of a local culture. It is important to note that the aversion of the Modern movement to decoration has been misunderstood and perceived as a universal dictat. Instead, the rejection of decoration was based on the idea that machine made products needed their own approach and language. Inevitably new taste influenced craft that reacted in two different ways: imitating past or imitating industry and its style, removing as much as possible any trace of handcrafted work. Craft then survived the wave of the ‘new machines’ or cooperating with industry in the best of cases (in Italy there are several great examples of this phenomenon) or becoming tourist attractions. In earlier times, shops as...

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