Questioning Design

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Design in Question (Lars Müller Publishers) is the biggest little book of design questions, or questions about design, that I’ve ever seen. Small but chunky, this volume, a project by Reudi Baur, Vera Baur Kockot, and the Institute Design2context ZHdK Zurich for Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, is replete with some very intelligent questions. Some of them read like answers. Here is the original project’s website.

I have a few questions, though. Why is the name of the school so long? Are the colors of the paper and lettering significant to the question? Can this many questions create a dialogue? As with Mao’s Little Red Book of quotations, I envision design students holding this high over their heads screaming their favorite queries. The answers are infinite.

Design in question
What is an ethical aesthetic? Where is the frontier between copying and creating?
How is it possible to be an anticapitalist designer? What are the values of the 21st century designer? aesthetics, function and sustainability?
Are designers only small cogs in the industrial system, or can they make the world better? Why was design created at the beginning of the industrial era, while the history of architecture covers the whole of civilisation?
How can a project increase someone's sensitivity? can a project include any human feeling? How do people receive or perceive design projects if they have no knowledge of design?