Terror; sentient robotics; eyes in the back of your head; quantitative benchmarks in education; male pregnancy; cosmetic prosthetics for dogs and active citizenship… But is it Industrial Design?
Yes, it is. We know that Industrial Design is typically perceived as the process of design applied to the development and manufacture of products for mass production and consumption. But, while the practice might exist to drive production and consumption in a commercial and typically object orientated paradigm, this is not its only application. In this show of work, our models of industrial design exist to develop, challenge and reframe mainstream practices.
Dissolve proposes that our practice can be used to mobilize debate, assemble publics and inquire into matters of concern through the creative processes involved when designing objects. We present roles for the designer that move from that of author of objects to facilitator of interactions. We inquire into how the forms of interaction that occur within the design process, and through a user’s engagement with design work, can bring into relief issues by the materialization of these issues in objects and by testing the experiences afforded. In doing this, Dissolve shows the range of contexts that today’s industrial designers operate within; from commercial product design, social enterprise, to policy, political and strategic contexts. It shows how the skills and practices grounded in our discipline dissolve and permeate into new contexts of operation and by doing this works to advance our disciplinary horizon.