Flush Left

Design always exist in a context, that’s how we measure its output. However, I fundamentally believe that given today’s context, design should be in a Venn diagram with Politics as a means to create change, rather than an exploratory creative practice pleading for respect under Art.

Design practitioner and ethics advocate Mike Monterio wrote in a Medium post ‘why are we still cramming design departments into art schools?’. But there is one issue with this possible transition, design has to figure out what design wants to be first. There is endless debate over the value, practice, role of design, let alone the chaos in job titles and roles. This could be seen as a good thing.

The final class of this term couldn’t have been more focused on politics. In which an online test uncovered, what I believe to be somewhat inaccurate visualisation, of the political stand of the students in attendance. The test presented me as the most left wing student in attendance (, this is not the case).

But given the test was more or less accurate, I see a greater issue at play. Much of the discussion over the term has been about representation. Such as the racial and gender makeup of the design industry in contrast to the general populous. However, it was never formally or colloquially mentioned that the fairly homogenous political makeup of the class(andlecturer) may also not be representative of the general populous. However, we are at least representative of the design industry.

This all came in great contrast to 30 minutes devoted to a Channel 4 interview with Jordan Peterson and Cathy Newman. The justification seemingly being his new controversial book out. A right wing figure becoming gaining more prevalence and popularity with young males. Peterson is another in the long line of influencers who provide their answer to individuals struggles.

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Photograph of 12 Rules For Life Poster

Weeks later listening to The Outline’s podcast, Paris Martineau gave an interesting insight to Petersons audience. In the associated article, she writes ‘the alt-right offers two things they feel a serious lack of in the throes of depression: acceptance and community.[…] These sort of movements allot the depressed person a form of agency which they may never have experienced before’.

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