The Culture of Design by Guy Julier: Contemporary Design Analysis

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  • Topic: Design, Designer, Information design
  • Pages : 7 (2371 words )
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  • Published : June 1, 2013
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Do you agree or disagree with the authors view of contemporary design? In the essay, I am going to analyse the text from the second edition of “The culture of design” by Guy Julier and answer if I agree or disagree with the author’s view of contemporary design. The book features a well-written account on how the world of design has been influenced over the years and offers a unique overview of design practice in contemporary culture and society. It explores the different interpretations of the term “design culture” and Julier uses a series of case-studies to illustrate his points. I will be evaluating his opinions and thoughts on design and the growth of the industry as they arise in the book and conclude my opinion at the end of the essay in the conclusion. I will be using references from other texts and sources to create a balanced argument and support my personal opinions about contemporary design. The opening line of the book signifies just how powerful Guy Julier believes design is in today’s world. He opens the first chapter by saying “Design is a highly entrepreneurial profession. It is also a maturing academic discipline” (Julier, 2008, Page 1). This gives the reader a clear indication that the author sees design in a positive way and believes it’s growing in popularity and is a good field of industry to exploit. He goes on by saying “It is and has been a vehicle of political coercion and symbolism, appropriated and employed by the darkest and benign of power structures” (IBID, Page 1). This statement is again quite powerful in the may Julier believes that design has been used for political gain and cultural regeneration. In this same chapter, Julier explains how design culture can have different interpretations depending on the context. It reads “Design Culture as an object of study therefore includes both the important and unimportant aspects of everyday life.” On one level it is articulated through images, words, forms and spaces. But at another it engages discourses, actions, beliefs, structures and relationships.” (IBID, Page 9). Julier believed design is all around us and the world is interacted with design everyday from the structure of retirement plans to house improvement. “The growing ubiquity of design as a self-consciously distinguishing feature in everyday life expands the grounds on which visual values lie” (IBID, Page 9). Julier explains how over the years, design has gone beyond what it once use to be. He implies that design is a growing movement and is deeply embedded into everyday life. In the contemporary world, Julier sees it as “more than just the creation of visual artefacts to be used or ‘read’. It is also about the structuring of systems of encounter within the visual and material world” (IBID, Page 9).

One reason for the development of design is believed to be the introduction of visual technologies e.g. motion-sensor computer games which allows the user to engage with the virtual world and step away from reality. The user can use this technology to design the unimaginable and live in an idealistic world. “The discourse of ‘immersion’ – whereby the subject ‘steps into’ the object – signifies a paradigmatic shift of the ground on which visual culture might be played out” (IBID, Page 11). Further along the page, Julier explains the importance of branding and corporate identity in modern design. “If a brand is typified into a clear, simple message, which is often crystallized as a slogan, then this should be reflected in all its manifestations” (IBID, Page 11) He believes from the literature to the way the workers dress should all be coherent. As companies are more interested in branding, it has caused an increase in design agencies with the greater demand for interior designers, web designers etc. He also uses this to justify the strong links with marketing and management as together the three disciplines can work collectively to achieve successful branding. “Branding is by no means the...
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