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Paper presentation Laurens Kolks

Caradt-researcher Laurens Kolks presented his paper Leo Fender: Unsung Hero of Platform-Based Co-Creation at the 13arrowtharrow International Conference on Design Principles & Practicesarrow in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Overview presentation

The musical instrument is a salient example of a mass produced object with which many users develop a personal bond. Laurens’ presentation studied the interplay of platform-based design and co-creation by examining the case study of Fender electric guitars.

Although primarily based on rational considerations such as reparability and the economic use of labor, tools, and materials, the design of these instruments started a process of platform-based co-creation. Users can respond to possibilities inherent in the product design. Companies respond to the creativity of users.

Social Design Practices

This research project aimed to question, problematise and study the relationship between design and its social context. It starts from an ambivalent research attitude towards the solutionism that lies at the basis of many design practices: a view in which designers approach the world from the basic principle of problem-solving. Through a rigid, one-sided application of this paradigm, solutions are often designed for problems we did not know existed. 

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‘Well beyond their common characterisation as problem-solvers, designers have a role to play in materialising public engagement with collective concern’

Laurens Kolks was a researcher at the Cultural and Creative Industries research group from 2018 until 2019 and is currently a tutor at St. Joost School of Art & Design.

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