“Design is one of the linchpins of capitalism, because it makes alienated labor possible.
[W]hen it comes to design’s influence on social structures, the focus on consumerism distracts from something more significant and interesting. Design’s real power is that it makes relationships and divisions between people concrete. Without physical stuff to remind us of how we supposedly differ from one another, our hierarchies would be awfully ramshackle; stripped of our possessions, categories like “class” start to look like just a bunch of learned behaviors and confused ideas. Whether prohibitively priced cars, gendered garments, or separate schools for blacks and whites, social hierarchies are always maintained with the help of physical objects and spaces designed to reflect those hierarchies. Otherwise everyone’s claims of superiority and difference would be quite literally immaterial.
Once you realize that all designed objects carry this sort of encrypted information about the organization of society, something amazing happens: you suddenly stop feeling bored in home furnishings stores. Washing machines and cooking implements have a lot to say about norms surrounding domestic labor; office trash cans embody the values of a middle class that can’t deal with its own waste; alarm systems and porch lights offer a crash course in the popular phenomenology of crime. But these objects are not just passive representations of ideas about how society should run. They actively promote those ideas, validating certain prejudices and chastising us when our behavior deviates from certain norms.”
Read the rest.
“We believe that the world already has enough chairs. Designing new ones only takes time away from renovating the ones we already have. Consider this the ultimate challenge for you to rethink how sustainable design should be manifested.”My favorite part: “Best designers think ‘how not to.’”
“We want to be the people’s media. Our first project is The Occupy Wall Street Journal, a four-page broadsheet newspaper with an ambitious print run of 50,000. It’s aimed at the general public. The idea is to explain what the protest is about and profile different people who have joined and why they joined. We will explain the issues involved and how the general assembly process operates at Liberty Plaza. It will also offer resources and ways to join. The emphasis will be on quality content, design, photography and artwork that uses incisive humor to make it a lively read.
Future projects include longer editions of the newspaper, bold stickers, edgy posters, colorful palm cards and inspiring flyers.
This project is a volunteer effort: every penny you donate will go directly to printing and distribution.”
Help fund printing and distribution (and get a copy for yourself) on Kickstarter until October 9, 2011.
Update 10/6/11: You can see the first edition here.