Design and Violence


The Museum of Modern Art is hosting a series of debates on issues at the intersection of design and violence.

Too often, and naïvely, we only celebrate the positive impact that design artifacts have on the world. However, design also has a history of violence that, unless linked overtly to political and social suppression and upheaval, often goes unexplored. Humanity continuously changes and adapts. Considering the pace of innovation and creative disruption, designers’ responsibility for this legacy is heavy. Violence—defined as the manifestation of the power to alter the circumstances around us, against the will of others and to their detriment—needs to be explored and grappled with. With the Design and Violence project, we intend to present thoughtful, incisive, provocative, and intellectually elegant case studies that will spark discussion and bring this issue to center stage for designers and for the people they serve—all of us.

Seems like there is room for philosophy here, and indeed one of the participants in the third debate is Gary L. Francione, a legal scholar and philosopher at Rutgers School of Law (Newark). You can read more about the debates here and visit the Design and Violence “online curatorial experiment” here.

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