September 17, 2011

Running Interference

"Mark Owens, who worked with curator Zak Kyes on 'Forms of Inquiry,' discerns an even more sweeping sense of entitlement among some practitioners: “being a graphic designer is more like having a passport that allows you to trespass in multiple domains, whether it be filmmaking, art, writing, publishing, curating, fashion, or even architecture.”

No one pauses to question why any of these fields, already occupied by highly competent practitioners, might need “trespassing” designers to help them do the job, or what it is about graphic design education that would qualify a designer to intervene in such a range of disciplines." (Rick Poyner being enjoyably droll in a recent Design Observer blog posting).

It's not about actual trespass or anything like that, it's about the glamour the word "trespass" brings (rather than, say, "interfere", or even "tread all over"). Much like that old fave "transgression", it almost always signals self-stroking puffery. And having a passport rather implies you're not so much trespassing as being, well, a tourist with a nice visa, or a traveler just passing through with the government's approval, no?

Dear god but Design sometimes seems so insecurely in love with its own self-image.

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