Leeslijst x
  • Uncivilisation
    The Dark Mountain Manifesto

      – Paul Kingsnorth

      – Dougald Hine

      The Dark Mountain Project, London, 2009, link
  • News from Nowhere

      – William Morris

      Kelmscott Press, Kelmscott, 1890
  • The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (documentary)

      – Chad Freidrichs

      2011, link
  • The Art of Inequality
    Architecture, Housing,and Real Estate – A Provisional Report

      – Reinhold Martin

      – Jacob Moore

      – Susanne Schindler

      The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, New York, 2015, link
  • Playtime (film)

      – Jacques Tati

      1967, link
  • The State Has Lost Control
    Tech Firms Now Run Western Politics

      – Evgeny Morozov

      The Guardian, 2016, link
  • CC41 Utility Clothing
    The Label That Transformed British Fashion

      – Mike Brown

      Sabrestorm Publishing, Kent, 2014, link
  • Make Do and Mend
    Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations

      – Jill Norman

      O’Mara Books, London, 2007, link
  • Hartz IV Moebel.com
    Build More Buy Less! Konstruieren statt konsumieren

      – Van Bo Le-Mentzel

      Hatje Cantz, Stuttgart, 2012, link

Kunstenaars, ontwerpers, critici, docenten, studenten: iedereen die met kunst en ontwerp bezig is, leest, verwerft kennis en ontwikkelt interesses. As We Read wil die toegankelijk maken voor anderen, zodat je van elkaars kennis en interesses kunt leren.

Hoe we dat doen? We vragen vakgenoten en specialisten een leeslijst samen te stellen om zo hun interesses en deskundigheid met anderen te kunnen delen. En om er een inleiding bij te schrijven waarin ze hun keuzes toelichten.

Zo brengen we verschillende perspectieven samen en ontstaat een alsmaar groeiend digitaal archief. Actueel, relevant en interdisciplinair. Van essays tot beeldromans en van lezingen tot manifesten: As We Read legt een database aan, voor en door vakgenoten.




As We Read is a website with a growing collection of reading lists about art and design. The reading lists range from essays to graphic novels, from lecture transcripts to manifestos. Compiled by specialists, each published with an introduction. As We Read is a reading database created with, by and for peers. 




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Design Dystopia

Design Dystopia

Design Dystopia

Utopia and dystopia are sometimes eerily close. Despite the concept being rooted in fantasy, we seem to endlessly strive for and imagine the ideal society. Utopian solutions to complex problems turn dystopian when we fail to address the full breadth of their inherent ambiguities and try to simplify cumbersome realities with convenient, workable answers. With the emergence of ‘design thinking’, the design discipline is all encompassing, broadening its influence from the realm of two and three-dimensional objects, to include systems, organisations, events, and social interventions. Designers are invited by governments and corporations to brainstorm ‘wicked problems’, such as waste, unemployment, climate change, and migration, thus reinventing both the discipline and the act of ‘design’ as a technocratic method for problem-solving. In this present context, design is put forward as an ideologically and politically neutral activity, while it is called upon to solve problems from which the neoliberal state has withdrawn. This reading list is part of my ongoing exploration of utopia and dystopia, of designed utopia transforming into dystopia, of accidental and designed dystopia, of the quest for utopia, and its fear, and of the secret longing for the destruction that lies within utopia and dystopia. This list is purposely broad, ambiguous, and subjective because my intention is to focus precisely on those messy, emotional, romantic, and megalomaniac ideologies behind design concepts presenting themselves as universal, common sense, or natural. 

Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto1
A much-hyped and equally derided dystopian manifesto by journalists and (former) environmentalists Kingsnorth and Hine in which they call for new narratives to deal with our uncertain future. 

News from Nowhere2
Based on Marxist principles, Morris’s utopian fantasy of an agricultural society in which citizens spend their days hand-crafting and decorating artefacts as a romanticised alternative to a society of industry, obsolescence, and consumerism.

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth3
A documentary about the infamously short life of Pruitt-Igoe, a public housing complex in St. Louis, Missouri, which started as a paradigm of utopian modernism and ended as a misunderstood example for opponents of public housing. 

The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate – A Provisional Report4 
A report from Columbia University on the relations between institutionalised socio-economic inequality, housing, and architecture.

A man meanders a futuristic Paris, alienated by the city’s ultramodern urban design and his inability to engage with other people. Tati famously had enormous sets built for this film.

The State Has Lost Control: Tech Firms Now Run Western Politics6
According to Morozov, if we continue to devolve problem-solving to Silicon Valley, big technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, pose a significant threat to democracy itself, increasing the legitimation crisis of democratic capitalism.

CC41 Utility Clothing: The Label That Transformed British Fashion7
During WWII, the UK government took over the complete design, manufacture, and distribution of clothing (and furniture) to deal with wartime scarcity and socio-economic inequality and at the same time promote modern design to its civilians. 

Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations8 
This collection of official instruction leaflets issued by the British government during WWII serves as a practical reminder of the necessity of repair and recycling in times of crisis and the changed narratives around these practices in recent discourse on sustainable design and development.

Hartz IV Moebel.com: Build More Buy Less! Konstruieren statt konsumieren9
Initiated when designer Van Bo Le-Mentzel was on welfare, hence the name of the German welfare system, this DIY modernist furniture guide and blog is a utopian design initiative intended for people living in sometimes less than utopian conditions.

Marjanne van Helvert

Marjanne van Helvert received an MA degree cum laude in Cultural Studies from the Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, in 2007 and a BDes degree in Textile Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2013. She explores the dynamics of theory and practice in design, and her main fields of interest are the relation between ethics and aesthetics in design, DIY practices, gender politics, and utopia and dystopia. Van Helvert is the editor of the book The Responsible Object, A History of Social Design for the Future.


Leeslijsten (28)

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