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.
Under which conditions can social design practices make a meaningful contribution to addressing social issues?
More specifically, this research project aimed to gain insights into claims about the societal influence of social design practices, and their actual impact on the world around us. This research took place through literature research and the organisation of several workshops for Avans design students (and tutors).
In 2019, Caradt researcher Laurens Kolks gave the workshop Publishing in Public Space to students of the Graphic | Spatial Design at St. Joost School of Art & Design. The workshop resulted in a language-based exhibition in a vacant space in Breda CS Station.
Completed project, 2018 – 2019.
Other researchers involved
Michel van Dartel (professor Situated Art and Design)
Avans University of Applied Sciences
Erasmus Universiteit, TU Delft (PhD)
Laurens is currently working on his PhD project at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, under the title Disclosing complexity: The articulation of public issues through design.