Anonymous asked: Hey, do you think that postmodernism could describe contemporary graphic design? Do you think there are elements of imitation, pastiche, irony and bricolage within most contemporary graphic design aesthetics? Im interested in how technology has changed the way we produce design. If you're answer is no or I don't know or care then no need to answer, but I would like to hear your opinion.
This question stresses me out because there’s so much ground to cover.
I think it’s becoming harder and harder to make the case for postmodernist being the prevailing attitude of our time.
I think it’s becoming easier to look towards these alternatives to describe the current survey of design:
Not to say there isn’t overlap and I’m sure that a lot of people would disagree with the significance of those movements that I mentioned, but then again there’s also questions of ontology in the qualities that you may consider postmodernist in a contemporary designer’s work. Part of this would boil down to whether or not you would entertain the idea that graphic design’s trajectory is nonlinear. A design decision that you may may consider to be an act of bricolage, I may consider to be an appropriation of an older “as-found” philosophy that the Smithsons used, for example.
I also think that designers abuse the terms Modernist and Postmodernist, but we simply don’t have convenient short-hand to describe what we want to describe, so I’m not even sure if we’re on the same page as to what we consider to be modernist, postmodernist, etc. I wouldn’t negate postmodernist tendencies in today’s current landscape but I just simply think it’s a rather limiting description that carries with it a lot of baggage because of how it was used in the past twenty years.
Great response from Eric Hu. I do not see graphic design’s trajectory as linear. I think that the growth and change of design ( in the vaguest definition here ) is nonlinear,