Bathroom distinctions for men and women may seem self-evident now, but their separation is a relic of the Victorian era. Credit Joshua ScottDo we know what we’re talking about when we talk about design? Design is both noun and verb, covering work that ranges from the composition of a tattoo to the amelioration of climate change. We design spoons and rooms, houses and cities, power grids and national identities, international treaties and defense systems and, when all else fails, military campaigns. If design refers to that which is planned and brought to fruition by human ingenuity, we’ve reached the point where, as Mark Wigley and Beatriz Colomina, curators of this year’s Istanbul Design Biennial, aptly observe, “the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer.” Even the few undesigned places left exist because we design the borders around them.
Published by Fred Zimny
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