Design and art history

I just published this blog post about the relationship between art and design, especially what we can start to learn by looking more deeply at the history of how these things are related. The post is only a basic intro for now, but it’s a topic I’d love to discuss with this community.

One of my central thoughts is that we need to reenergize the creativity in our practice and use design as a way to reflect on (and change?) culture and society…


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We need to allow for more moments of creativity to exist in business. And business need to see the benefits in allowing people to not constantly be in specific modes of work that sometimes get in the way of being creative.

So perhaps its …

What behaviours do we want to encourage that people now find hard in business today?

Sometimes its as simple as feeling confident to offer an idea without feeling silly or non digital spaces to draw ideas or people who can facilitate and draw out better conversations.

My guess is the answers will be present in the soft skills or human qualities we want to nurture in order to create a flow that allows creativity from all roles in the business to exist and blossom. No one needs to own this, but people certainly need to facilitate and lead this along.

Or maybe its …

What does it feel like to be in creative states? (if they do in fact exist) (again not unique to solely designers)


I’ve been thinking about speculative and critical design a lot lately. I see shops like The Near Future Lab as the modern design equivalent of tricksters from folklore, Shakespeare, or even pop culture. They are Hermes, Puck, Gregory House, and Q (Star Trek TNG): messengers that don’t simply bring a sense of truth (because they don’t have it), but rather a means of getting to truth via dark comical play. Through trickery, they manipulate others into discovering truths in their own system of being. Good SCD projects make us uncomfortable and laugh nervously when we encounter them, just like when we realize the effects of Q’s antics or House’s fatal flaw.

In a certain sense, SCD is a much more "pure"design practice compared to what we see in most commercial IxD. Without the bounds of profit-driven clients, they are allow to truly play and take advantage of the abductive thinking qualities design is so good at.

Perhaps some connections here -