Design and Reflexivity


  • Jan van Toorn


Designers in the "information industry" increasingly conform to the neo-liberal concepts of the present socioeconomic circumstances. This leaves little room for a social engagement which attempts to unite the private interests of the information combines and collective objectives. The consequence of this mental adjustment to the hegemonies of the communicative relationship is that design, despite what are frequently well-intentioned ethical starting-points, has become generalized and rudimentary in its substantive and instrumental choices, and naive in its thinking about its own public role. In my contribution I argue, following in the footsteps of Félix Guattari, for a "mental ecology," for a multidimensional realistic reflexivity, which makes possible the recuperation of a practice consisting of more effective oppositional strategies.