Artifacts and Observations
For the Gwangju Design Biennale I was asked to do a research on the anonymous design in the city of Gwangju. The observational photo series are accompanied by every day artifacts found in Gwangju. I have focussed on the most normal, the un-named, the anonymous everyday elements in the city. Altogether this work tells little stories about the un-named design of everyday life.
Over the past century design has been repeatedly altered to reflect changes in the political climate, elite preferences, or popular mood. In its current form, design projects the values of the free market. It is a vague amalgamation of clothes, home furnishings, personal hygiene, art, antiques, and music videos. It is western-centric, commodity-driven, and wealth-dependent. It is hugely influential and much copied, but it somehow loses depth with each incarnation. The Un-Named Design section questions the contemporary definition of design and challenges the myth of the designer. It backgrounds issues of authorship in order to focus on effects - the ways in which design alters perceptions, reinvents, and reveals hidden truths. In the process, it expands the boundaries of design to include fields such as bioengineering, virtual communication, permaculture, pre-modern technology, and performance-enhancing drugs. It rejects marketability as the primary means of evaluation and acceptance as the ideal audience response.