Article published on critical practices of design

5 August, 2013 - 12:43

Ramia Mazé's article "Formes Critiques: Pour une pratique critique du design" has been published in Les Cahiers du Musée National d'Art Moderne. It is part of a special issue on design, in which other authors include Valérie Guillaume, Victor Margolin, Alison Clark, Manoj Kothari, Fang Hai, Otakar Mácel, Aurélien Lemonier and Cloé Pitiot.


How may criticality take form in relation to design practices? How may critical practices articulate alternatives or futures for the design profession? In this article, I discuss some aspects of critical practices of design. I briefly trace how ideals and alternatives are explored within genres of ‘concept’, ‘conceptual’ or ‘critical’ design. Engaging with the ideas expressed through design practice, such practices illustrate how intellectual and ideological issues might be constructed from within, rather than prescribed from outside. This represents an important shift in relations between theory and practice in design – criticism is not something merely to be done apart from and outside of design but is incorporated within design practices and forms. This shift is also reflected in academia, in which practice-based approaches to design research are expanding. To illustrate some approaches, I present examples from Switch!, a practice-based design research program at the Interactive Institute in Sweden. This anchors a discussion of how critical practices may take form today, and how, or why, they have important role for a discipline in transition.

The article is written in French.