Quote of the Month

Posted by PH on September 11, 2007
Quote of the Month

This month’s quote is another by-product of the D&AD Xchange 07 conference as discussed in the last two posts. One of the threads running through the conference was that of sustainable design, and this emerged as the central them of presenter Ken Garland, venerable design maven, photographer, toy designer, educator, and writer.

Called Subtraction, his presentation was theatrical, very amusing, anecdotal, and highly improvisatory—even though he was clearly well prepared—and highlighted a strategy we often recommend to students: bring in loads of props! This included a wind-up radio, sweets, piles of junk mail and catalogues he’d picked up off his doormat, and the inevitable dustbin. He had an alarm clock that he used as a comic stooge. However, the intellectual centre of the presentation was a mood board, or at least what appeared to be a mood board: as he went to refer to it he just ripped away the array of images and revealed this quote:

Why should we so gratuitously assume, as we constantly do, that the mere existence of a mechanism for manifolding or of mass production carries with it an obligation to use it to the fullest capacity? […] To achieve control we shall even, I suspect, have to reconsider and perhaps abandon the whole idea of periodic publication [for] we cannot continue to inertly accept the burdensome technique of overproduction without inventing a social discipline for handling it; and that until we do this our situation will steadily worsen.

Lewis Mumford
 

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