Friday, October 7, 2005

Designing revolution

Reflections from the Field: Critical Design Ethnography: Designing for Change (pdf), Barab et al., 2004

"Our process involves four interrelated stages: (1) developing a 'thick description' of one or more context(s) - this involves prolonged engagement as participant observer and blurring lines between researcher and researched; (2) developing a series of social commitments that have local and global significance - this involves co-construction of meanings and beliefs in some universals; (3) reifying these understandings and commitments into a design - this involves participatory design and co-evolution that is never quite complete; and (4) scaling up and reinterpretation to multiple contexts - this involves flexible design and continual adaptation."

Proceedings of Reflective HCI: Towards a Critical Technical Practice (pdf)


I don't think we can get anywhere without definitions of critical design or design critique, but I just want revolutionary design, damn it!

Social Design Notes: Design Insurgency

Art Against Empire (On Alliez & Negri's 'Peace and War'), Alberto Toscano, TCS 2003


Revolutionary Art by Emory Douglas

The Revolution Will Be Visualized: Emory Douglas in the Black Panther by Colette Gaiter (Bad Subjects 2004)

"[E]ven though they graphically portrayed injustices and indignities, Douglas's messages were essentially hopeful. These posters were not meant for the mainstream public, or those inflicting the misery, but gave people suffering in ghettos assurance that the Panthers were working to help them improve their lives permanently. J. Edgar Hoover was correct in a sense. The Panthers' message was a direct and serious threat to the capitalist status quo. The danger was not that the group would manage an armed coup and take over the government. Empowering people to stop facilitating their own oppression was far more frightening."

Hey Mister, What You Doing To The Poor Man, Lord Knows You Oughta Quit It.

Visualizing a Revolution: Emory Douglas and The Black Panther Newspaper (Voice 2005)

"Conceptually, Douglas's images served two purposes: first, illustrating conditions that made revolution seem necessary; and second, constructing a visual mythology of power for people who felt powerless and victimized."

I, Gerald Ford, am the 38th Puppet of the United States

Position Paper #1 on Revolutionary Art (pdf)
by Emory Douglas, 1968

"Revolutionary Art gives a physical confrontation with tyrants, and also enlightens the people to continue their vigorous attack by educating the masses through participation and observation. Through the Revolutionary Artist's observations of the people, we can picture the territory on which we live...The ghetto itself is the gallery for the Revolutionary Artist's drawings. His work is pasted on the walls of the ghetto; in storefront windows, fences, doorways, telephone poles and booths, passing buses, alleyways, gas stations, barber shops, beauty parlors, laundromats, liquor stores, as well as the huts of the ghetto. This way the Revolutionary Artist educates the people as they go through their daily routine, from day to day, week to week, and month to month."

To All Progressive Artist [sic] Who Are Struggling Against the Racist US Government (pdf) by Emory Douglas, 1970


Design Observer: On Citizenship and Humanity: An Appeal for Design Reform

Design Observer: Where Are the Design Critics?

Mike Kuniavsky
: "Design, to me, is the process of projecting the explorations of science, art and industrial production onto everyday life in a way that uses those discoveries to enhance people's lives in an immediate and tangible way. That covers a lot of ground, but it kinda requires that there be some immediate real utility, which critical design seemingly intentionally avoids."

descrit | the space for design critique


PLSJ: Living versus looking (Nov 04)

PLSJ: Ubicomp and Situationism (Jul 04)



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