Paper accepted to Communicating (by) Design

3 February, 2009 - 20:02

'Critical Form(ations): A Case Study', by Ramia Mazé, discusses issues of 'critical practice' in practice-based design research through three examples from the Switch! program. The paper will be presented at the Communicating (by) Design conference, which is jointly organized between the Sint Lucas School of Architecture (Belgium) and the Department of Architecture at the Chalmers University (Sweden).

Paper abstract: Design is a powerful force in shaping material reality, human behavior, and cultural values. Inevitably ideological, there are tendencies in contemporary design toward ‘criticism from within’, in which design arguments, processes and products are a basis for engaging with disciplinary and societal problematics. In our practice-based research, we deploy related tactics, aesthetics and modes of production to (de)construct issues of energy in (sustainable) design. This paper outlines a notion of ‘critical practice’ to situate a case study from our work. Three design examples are a basis for discussing the potential for the products of research through (critical) practice to effect a more participatory debate about social processes and societal issues.