On 9 December 2017, Design Trust co-presented a special panel “Provocations: Writing, Reviewing and Communicating Design” at Business of Design Week (BODW) 2017’s forum “Culture and The City”. With the advance of digital technologies, a new renaissance in cultural production emerged. The discussion highlights the ubiquitous and elusiveness of design, and the importance of communication and provocation.
As Alice Rawsthorn (award-winning Design Critic and Author) points out “design is ubiquitous, it touches every aspect of our lives”, she explains that while design writing often feeds the cliché of design as a styling or marketing tool, design can be positive and empowering, “Design is an agent of change, which can help us to make sense of what is happening and to turn it to our advantage.” During the forum, Rawsthorn also describes how Web 3.0 has shaped traditional media into critical voices, where the open platform enables the public to participate and engage in discussions and debates. Through the sharing by Michaelangelo Giombini (INTERNI) and Luca Trazzi (Designboom), the forum explores the evolution of the publishing system and the role of reactive journalism in engaging with design practice, production and idea-making. Looking at the role of China in cultural production, Ole Bauman (Design Trust PRD Design Council; Design Society) further reiterates the idea of design as a way of thinking and a vehicle to express human imagination. In face of the rapid growth in China, design can act as a driver to create better lives for people living in this new context. “Design is not just an object but a value system.”
The session was moderated with probing questions by Eric Schuldenfrei (ESKYIU), Marisa Yiu (Design Trust) and Santina Bonini (Design-bs). Finally, Rawsthorn closes the panel by stressing the curiosity and inquisitiveness of design, and its role in shaping the cultural identity of China through its increasing sophistication and singularity.
Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic and Author, UK
Michelangelo Giombini, INTERNI, Italy
Luca Trazzi, Designboom, Italy
Ole Bouman, Design Trust Pearl River Delta Design Council; Design Society, Mainland China
Eric Schuldenfrei, ESKYIU, Hong Kong
Marisa Yiu, Design Trust, Hong Kong
Santina Bonini, Design-bs, Hong Kong