Volume 2, Number 2: 2006 - Special Issue: Design Authorship
ISSN: ISSN 1833-2226
Transfering Traditions? From the Graphic Design of Women's Magazines to Commercial Online Portals for Women
Sadowska, N. Transfering Traditions? From the Graphic Design of Women's Magazines to Commercial Online Portals for Women pp.31-47. keywords: graphic design, web design, women's magazines, commercial women's portals, feminism and design, consumption With the introduction of the Internet as a communication medium, new forms of design practice have begun to come to the fore. However these practices often draw upon the well established canons of the design discipline. The case study of BEME.com, a commercial online portal design for female Internet users, explores the transition from the graphic design traditions associated with women's magazines to the online design of commercial Internet portals for women. This paper addresses the relationship between design practice and the portrayal of gender in both mediums. Feminist critique of design practice has drawn attention to continuing problems women have as design practitioners and design consumers and a case study analysis of BEME.com offers an opportunity to highlight some of the issues such a critique raises. The paper draws on documents obtained from the commissioning publishing house and visual materials gathered from the online portal to substantiate the analysis. Whilst located at a cross-road in design practice where design traditions for women's magazines meet the emerging practice of online design, this paper argues that the case of BEME.com demonstrates that design traditions and particularly design for women and of gender, are all to easily transferred from one medium to another.
Designed Criticism or Critical Design: The Dilemmas of Graphic Design and Authorship
Glickfeld, E. Designed Criticism or Critical Design: The Dilemmas of Graphic Design and Authorship pp.16-30. keywords: authorship, critique, designer-initiated publications This paper examines theories of authorship as applied and discussed in international graphic design circles from the 1980's onwards. The birth of critical theory opened the way for notions of authorship to be questioned. The application and discussion of them in the discourse of graphic design, however, are full of confusion and misunderstandings. This in turn created a backlash against theory in general. It is this author's contention that exposing these misconceptions will open up the way for designers to imagine a way of operating that is based on questioning and critique.
Designing a Space for Speculation
Editorial: Moline, K. Grocott, L. Designing a Space for Speculation pp.1-15. keywords: design research, practice-led research, speculative practice, visualisations This paper visually documents the practice of Studio Anybody, The Australian graphic design consultancy that provided the research study with a site and context for positioning research as a speculative activity fundamental to a studio's professional culture. Working across a triangulation of activity the consultancy developed a reflective practice model where the back-talk generated by the studio-initiated research and client-commissioned projects continuously advanced the collective practice of the five designers. The research asserts why and how a critical space for speculation played a significant role in creating a practice model that allowed the designers to avoid familiar, derivative work and embrace the unfamiliar and the unknown.
Curating as Meta Design-Authorship
McCarthy, S. Curating as Meta Design-Authorship pp.48-56. keywords: design-authorship, exhibitions, curator, meta-authorship Design-authorship is often considered at the micro-level as graphic designers produce discrete works with an enlarged sense of agency. Whether publications, posters or interactive media, these artifacts position the designer as having a greater role in the communications paradigm, thereby enlarging the cultural, economic and political spaces for design activity. Designer-authored works are occasionally brought together into themed exhibitions, as curators cast this work into new contexts. Additionally, acting as meta-authors, some curators produce design-authorship at the level of the conceptual exhibition. This paper examines examples of both approaches: the exhibit of, and the exhibit as, design authorship. The dual nature of the curator as meta-author is explored through seven exhibition case studies. These studies show the variety of ways in which traditional distinctions of subject (by designer) and object (about designer) are becoming blurred and dynamic.
Authorship, Entrepreneurialism and Experimental Design
Moline, K. Authorship, Entrepreneurialism and Experimental Design pp.57-66. keywords: experimental design, critical design, authorship, graphic design, relational aesthetics, Re-magazine, Jop van Bennekom This paper responds to recent calls in design literature for a return to design authorship, and the appropriation from fine art of theories of relational aesthetics. I suggest that before looking to art as a model, it is useful to retrace various divergent moments in the authorship and entrepreneurialism debates in graphic design. This paper describes how these debates polarise the designer-as-author as antithetical to the designer-as-service-provider, and as such omit a third term, experimental design. I discuss an example of experimental design, Re-magazine by Jop van Bennekom, in terms of how such design challenges the promises of "total control" or autonomy that is identified by many as a key motivation in practices of graphic authorship and entrepreneurialism. I interpret issue 9 of Re-magazine as a allegory that questions design's pursuit of autonomy. Rather than confuse the distinct specificities of fine art and design practices in an unexamined adoption of relational aesthetics, as Poyner and Mermoz suggest, I propose that design must first reflect on its own products and practices.