Been giving a Keynote at '4th International Conference on Semiotics and Visual Communication "Myths today"' at Cyprus University of Thechnology (CUT), Limassol, Cyprus last week. 3 days of inspiring presentations and finally being able to meet and network with people from around the world.
Thanks to Prof. Evripides Zantides and Sonia Weber for organizing this highly interesting conference and for inviting me as Keynote Speaker, it has been an absolutely treat!
My keynote was about De-Imagining myth possibilities through mechanisms from Critical design.
Many experts used to agree that the core element of design is aesthetics, but the perception of the different aspects of design varies greatly. Who defines what design is? What types of design will be in demand in the future? Over the years, while working with design education as leaders and educators, we continuously debate what elements, tools and skills design students should carry in their toolbox in order to develop their careers as professional designers.
In recent years we have witnessed a changing paradigm in the field of design. From the traditional design disciplines focusing on designing “products,” to the emerging design disciplines focusing on designing for a “purpose”.
The traditional design disciplines are centered around the product or a technology. Here the designer gains the skills needed to expertly conceive of and give shape to products such as brand identities, interior spaces, buildings, consumer products, etc. (Sanders & Strappers, 2008).
As designers we need to move beyond designing for the way things are now and begin to design for how things could be, imagining alternative possibilities and different ways of being, and giving tangible form to new values and priorities. This presentation will present examples of students’ projects using mechanisms from critical design as an approach. As designers we also need to have an ethical approach to the choices we make while designing and the effect the designs may have.
The presentation aims to present cases of how self-defined, open-end problems can give students new insights and values to their education. When being asked to make design projects that raises debate using mechanisms from critical design as an approach unveiling some of the myths surrounding us in our everyday life. For example, recognising the myths that are assigned to products, and be aware of their seductive branding mechanisms, their production, as well as their uses and consequences.