When everything is destined to be designed, design disappears into the everyday. We simply do not see it anymore because it is everywhere. This is the vanishing act of design. At this moment, design registers its redundancy: our products, environments and services have been comprehensively improved. Everything has been designed to perfection and is under a permanent upgrade regime. Within such a paradigm, design is taken over by the capitalist logic of reproduction. But this does not come without conflicts, struggles and tensions. The most obvious of these, is that design is constantly being replaced. Our dispense culture prompts a yearning for longevity. The compulsion to delete brings alive a desire to retrieve objects, ideas and experiences that refuse to become obsolete. Society is growing more aware of sustainability and alert to the depletion of this world. For the ambitious designer, it is time to take the next step: designing the future with a more holistic consideration and approach.
Mieke Gerritzen is founder of The Image Society in Amsterdam. She was director of MOTI, Museum of the Image in Breda. As designer in the early 90s, she was involved with digital media initiatives like Waag Society and VPRO Digital. She belongs to the Dutch new media pioneers. She published 10 books and organised conferences and events, like Me You And Everyone is a Curator in 2011. Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Networks Without a Cause (2012) and Sad by Design (2019). Since 2004 he is researcher at the School for Communication and Media Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), where he is the founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures.