why design protest, TVnews

A protest addressed to the design world was held on Sunday the 28th of October during the last day of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, 2012.

flyer of the protest, front

flyer of the protest, route

WHY DESIGN? {Triggering a Public Debate}

In a week where design and designers are celebrated and glorified, very little questions arise about the relevance of the profession. Hundreds of chairs, tables and objects, thousands of euros spent and tens of thousands of visitors in Eindhoven, and still we feel the urge to ask: what real value does design bring to society?

We want to question the prevailing structures of design profession, which are built on self-glorification, rather than a true and real legitimization from society. There seems to be a lack of a self-critical attitude from designers, which makes design events mere mediatic shows (spectacles, in Debord’s terms), rather than radiographies of the state of affairs of a certain place and moment in society.

This video was made to experience the power of the mass media on the imagery of protests and consequently on the public opinion around them. A medium to talk about a medium.

Probably in the interrelation of the various communications media, one medium can be employed to communicate a series of opinions on another medium. To some extent this is what a newspaper does when it criticizes a TV program. But who can assure us that the newspaper article will be read in the way we wish? Will we have to have recourse to another medium to teach people how to read the newspaper in a critical fashion?

Umbero Eco

During the organization and the practice of this action I tried to experience and analyze the elements of the medium of protest from within.

Decision making, context, identity or not identity, protest or performance, designed/undesigned protest, advertising, public relations, organization, tools, human voice/personal noise, participants, creation of personal slogans, debate, numbers, security guards, observers, reactions, contact, friends and enemies, visual impact, sound impact, visual aggression, curiosity, offence, simpathy, embarass, individuality, group…

But what most interested me were the interviews I made afterwards this event – to participants, observers and non-participants. I talked with them about the protest and about their role, their emotions and their thoughts about it and about demonstrations in general. I had in front of me a variety of point of views on the same medium. A variety that appears even comparing just the participants, different views on the same medium in which they took part as a crowd. Definitions, eulogies, critiques, personal feelings… and a lot of doubts. This was not new for me, but finally clear. I could see the quantity of unconfident individual within the same crowd. I started to question myself: what is it that make the demonstration a still frequently used medium?

quasi con un cappello di paglia sul capo

making of the next step