Thursday, May 12, 2005

On (Design) Bullshit

Uno de los temas más comentados en internet acerca de Diseño estos días es precisamente el de Bullshit. El artículo de Michael Bierut comienza con una buena historia acerca de la construcción del Centro Getty en Los Angeles. Ahi se enfrentan dos fuerzas. Por un lado un arquitecto que ha luchado cuesta arriba por el control total del proyecto. Y por el otro un artista al que le encargan el diseño del jardin (en contra de los deseos del arquitecto cabe mencionar) El artista entrega su propuesta. Y el arquitecto y su equipo se encargan de darle en la maraca a todos los argumentos. La respuesta del artista:


Un pedazo del artículo:

It follows that every design presentation is inevitably, at least in part, an exercise in bullshit. The design process always combines the pursuit of functional goals with countless intuitive, even irrational decisions. The functional requirements — the house needs a bathroom, the headlines have to be legible, the toothbrush has to fit in your mouth — are concrete and often measurable. The intuitive decisions, on the other hand, are more or less beyond honest explanation. These might be: I just like to set my headlines in Bodoni, or I just like to make my products blobby, or I just like to cover my buildings in gridded white porcelain panels. In discussing design work with their clients, designers are direct about the functional parts of their solutions and obfuscate like mad about the intuitive parts, having learned early on that telling the simple truth — "I don't know, I just like it that way" — simply won't do.

So into this vacuum rushes the bullshit: theories about the symbolic qualities of colors or typefaces; unprovable claims about the historical inevitability of certain shapes, fanciful forced marriages of arbitrary design elements to hard-headed business goals. As Frankfurt points out, it's beside the point whether bullshit is true or false: "It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction." There must only be the desire to conceal one's private intentions in the service of a larger goal: getting your client it to do it the way you like it.

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Design Observer: writings about design & culture: On (Design) Bullshit

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