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Weekly Featured Dialectic Story: The Concept Of The Design Discipline

February 27, 2018 / By Meaghan Dee

As many know, the DEC was incredibly proud to launch Dialectic, the new scholarly journal for thought leadership, education and practice in visible communication design. You can purchase Dialectic online via Amazon (the publications are beautifully designed and worth having), and see all the content online via Michigan Publishing. Please enjoy this week’s featured article!

This article was originally published in Dialectic Volume IIssue 1, (Winter 2017) in our “Theoretical Speculation” category:

The Concept Of The Design Discipline
By Paul A. Rodgers, Imagination, Lancaster University, UK;
Craig Bremner, Charles Sturt University, School of Creative Industries, Australia

Abstract:
In their previous work, the authors have demonstrated that the discipline of design has been superseded by a condition where conventionally set design disciplines have dissolved.[1][2][3] In this age where design is typified by fluid, evolving patterns of practice that regularly traverse, transcend and transfigure historical disciplinary and conceptual boundaries, the authors have argued that globalization and the proliferation of the digital has resulted in connections that are no longer ‘amid,’ cannot be measured ‘across,’ nor encompass a ‘whole’ system. In short, this ‘disciplinary turn’ has generated an ‘other’ dimension—an alternative disciplinarity.[4] Moreover, this reliance on the ‘exhausted’ historic disciplines has become obsolete as the boundaries of our understanding have been superseded by a boundless space / time that we call ‘alter-plinarity.’[5] The fragmentation of distinct disciplines has shifted creative practice from being ‘discipline-based’ to ‘issue- or project-based.’[6] Consequently, this paper presents a manifesto for the future design discipline that emphasizes disposing carefully of what you know, teaching what you do not know whilst always taking design seriously, protecting us from what we want, objecting to sustaining everything, designing without reproach, ensuring that objects are invisible but designed with care and within history whilst exploring design as an idea rather than an ideal.

Keep reading here.

“Dialectic, this journal, aspires to fulfill the dual role of provocateur and standard bearer. It seeks to occupy a place where the status quo is always in question, and to provide a forum where asking “why?” will be more fundamental and vital than asking “how?” or “what?” It will value the inquisitive and the analytical over the merely descriptive, and will foster a setting within which rigorous examination and interrogation are guided by high standards of analysis and reasoning. Dialectic will be an open access gathering place for those who wish to critically and thoughtfully propose, question, and argue about the ideas, systems and processes central to the nature of design education and practice.”

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