Design the future the human spirit victor margolin
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Design, the Future & the Human Spirit Victor Margolin. Designers can work for the Public Good Designers ‘ responsibility to contribute in constructive way Ways designers can contribute ? Prescriptive Scenarios. Design for Socially Responsible Behavior Tromp, Kekkert , Verbeek.

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Design, the Future & the Human Spirit Victor Margolin

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Design, the Future & the Human SpiritVictor Margolin

  • Designers can work for the Public Good

  • Designers ‘ responsibility to contribute in constructive way

  • Ways designers can contribute?

  • Prescriptive Scenarios


Design for Socially Responsible BehaviorTromp, Kekkert, Verbeek

Principle argument: Designers can facilitate

Individual concerns to align with Collective concerns

to act based on the larger Public Good

  • Intervention methods: Can change, User determines category

    1. Coerce

    2. Persuade

    3. Seduce

    4. Decisive

    Strategies Based on Individual Concerns- pp 13-17


“In the 1960s I saw graphic design as a noble endeavor, integral to larger planning, architectural and social issues.

Aspen Design Conference

1966, Paul Rand


What I realized in the 1970s, when I was doing major corporate identity projects, is that design had become a preoccupation with what things look like rather than with what they mean.

  • Citicorp, Citibank Identification Program,

  • AnspachGrossman Portugal

  • 1975


What designers were doing was creating visual identities for other people - not unlike the work of fashion stylists, political image consultants or plastic surgeons.

  • Eye Bee M poster

  • Paul Rand

  • 1981


We had become experts who suggest how other people can project a visual impression that reflects who they think they are.

P Rand 1956-1985


And we have deceived ourselves into thinking that the modernization service we supply has the same integrity as service to the public good. Modernism forfeited its claim to a moral authority when designers sold it away as corporate style.

http://www.designhistory.org/Post_mod.html

PRand, 1985


“He invented the term Radical Modernism to distance himself from both the formal constraints of Modernism and the post modern label.”

http://www.designhistory.org/Post_mod.html

TM Magazine Cover

DF, 1972


”a reaffirmation

of the idealistic roots

of our modernity,

adjusted to include

more of our diverse

culture, history, research,

and fantasy."

1994, D Friedman

House Interior, DF @ 1978


“His approach is eminently reasonable

and certainlyresponds

to the mix of tastes, styles,

and ethnicities,

that have asserted a

presence withinour

emerging vision

of global culture.”

V Margolin

House Interior, DF @ 1978


“…design was in crisis and urged designers to see their work in a larger cultural context…”

3 Mile Island, painted lamp w found objects,

DF @ 1985


PROJECTS OF OPTIMISMDan Friedman*

  • Live & work with passion & responsibility.

  • Try to express personal, spiritual, & domestic values even if our culture continues to be dominated by corporate, marketing, & institutional values.

  • Choose to remain progressive; don’t be regressive. Find comfort in the past only if it expands insight into the future, & not just for the sake of nostalgia.

  • Embrace the richness of all cultures; be inclusive instead of exclusive.


  • Think of your work as a significant element in the context of a more important, transcendental purpose.

  • Use your work to become advocates of projects for the public good.

  • Attempt to become a cultural provocateur; be a leader rather than a follower.


  • Engage in self-restraint; accept the challenge of working with reduced expectations & diminished resources.

  • Avoid getting stuck in corners, such as being a servant to increasing overhead, careerism, or narrow points of view.

  • Bridge the boundaries that separate us from other creative professions & unexpected possibilities.


  • Use the new technologies, but don’t be seduced into thinking that they provide answers to fundamental questions.

  • Be radical.

    *p 209, Radical Modernism

Logo for exhibit: Radical Modernism, Moore College of Art &

Design, 1994, Philadelphia


“Premature specialization

in schools perpetuates

a similar isolation in practice and works against

the hybridization

that is increasingly desirable in real professions.”

  • Does it Make Sense, Design quarterly. April Greiman, 1986


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