Design ethics

Design ethics

Monday, 5 January 2015

(Design) History is an Ellipse… Happy and New Year 2015!


In black-and-white, above: (by anonymous photographer), around 1921-1923.Members of the Weimar Bauhaus school: E. Hartwig (top from the right), W. Baumeister (bottom right), O. Schlemmer (second, top from the left), T. Schlemmer (bottom), C. Schlemmer (in the center, at the bottom), J. Albers (right from the bottom), G. Stölzl ( center), W. Gilles (above the latter). ©AKG Photo, Paris.

The happy company in the photo has many things to celebrate, working and living in a place, far more than just an innovative technical school: a modern Utopia[1]. Painters, teachers, architects, engineers, technicians, makers, photographers, designers, stylists, actors and musicians are developing together a different perception of how everyday life could be. A fresh approach to creativity, production and lifestyle is born, to establish a new simplicity, functionality, ethics, image, design. The design of 20th century[2].

Less than 100 years later, here we go again. Different problems, challenges, threats, risks but not the same eagerness to reinvent the world, in a real way. Different battle, same war, but nevertheless , the hope to revive quality in contemporary urban living, by means of education, culture and justice, is not yet entirely extinguished. Struggling economies and unearthly wealth, condemn investments and interest on design education (and education at large) as  time-irrelevant and elitist. Similar voices tend to forget the contribution of design to growth, provided the current focus on raw commodities with immediate profit like mineral fuels or banking by-products. Toxic funds still haunt international markets, in a sort of blind man’s -buff game, leaving behind a poisonous trail of financial repercussion.

[R]evolution in materials, resources, services and needs can only be accomplished  by involving design and innovation ,practically in every solution. That’s what history taught us, up to now, again and again. “Geschichte ist elliptisch. Geschichte ist eine Ellipse[3].

Attacking Bauhaus: The end of “bolshevist” Bauhaus while Nazis finally take control. Collage by Iwao Yamawaki, 1932. ©D.R.

Both pictures are taken from the book: Le Bauhaus, text by Xavier Girard, ©1999, Éditions Assouline, Paris, France (greek edition by ©2005, EKDOSEIS AGRA A.E., Athens, Greece- translation from the original: Anna Tsea).
 
 





[1] Le Bauhaus, text by Xavier Girard, ©1999, Éditions Assouline, Paris, France (greek edition by ©2005, EKDOSEIS AGRA A.E., Athens, Greece- translation from the original: Anna Tsea).


[2] Le Bauhaus, text by Xavier Girard, ©1999, Éditions Assouline, Paris, France (greek edition by ©2005, EKDOSEIS AGRA A.E., Athens, Greece- translation from the original: Anna Tsea).


[3] “History is elliptic. History is an Ellipse”: A graffiti on the Berlin wall, soon after its demolition, 1989. [Elliptic: Obscure or ambiguous or repeating it-self. Collins Essential English Dictionary].

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