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Designer-maker: hybrid strategies for interrogative making in design

Girdwood, Melanie (2015) Designer-maker: hybrid strategies for interrogative making in design. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Girdwood, Melanie

In 1989 design historian John A. Walker wrote of the possibility of a shift from large-scale production to small-scale batch production as a mitigating factor against the globalization of design production. For Walker, this shift in the scale of design production helpfully offered a repositioned stance from which design could look to vernacular character and local identity as a counterpoint to a homogenized aesthetic. This decentered position - viewed as a reaction to the issues Walker identified - serves another crucial function namely as an objective position from where designers may engage in cross-disciplinary practices. The designer-maker occupies an identifiable gap between craft and design, and is engaged in a form of post-disciplinary workmanship that neither craft nor design discourses have fully captured. In light of the phenomenon of small batch production and hand making by designers in the years since Walker’s pronouncement, the activities taking place within the post-disciplinary gap may be viewed, I argue, as the result of designers’ alienation from the experience of material production. Furthermore, contemporary designer-maker practices work against what crafts historian Howard Risatti terms “limitlessness” — wherein there is little to give an absolute value or perspective to things, and a lack of human dimensions that might give comparison to effort and scale. Against this the work of contemporary designer-makers reconsiders labour value and materiality as guiding threads within a production strategy that is both self-reflexive and critical of mainstream design practices

Date: August 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: small-scale batch production, globalization, design production, homogenized aesthetic, craft, post-disciplinary workmanship, and materiality.
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 13:49
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 00:00
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/350

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