Lecture Response

I resonate with the statement that we are constantly in the midst of “futuring” across disciplines and modes of thought. The idea of the future is not just something for objectified academic analysis. Futuring is a condition of politics, and as we know, politics is inescapable. It permeates almost every system in place in society, but also is a factor in how we interpret the world and relate it (or not) to ourselves. For me this is exemplified in the portion of the talk that addresses how “modern forms of technocratic eco-modernism are sustained in art and design education, through instrumentalism, solutionism, and the isolation of liberal arts from art and design.” This kind of situation is absolutely relevant to RISD. RISD boasts that the liberal arts education it offers is equal in quantity to the art and design education it promises. I think that the influence of liberal arts on art and design students may actually be beyond the school, but relies on the goals and involvement of individual students. Some students do see liberals as being essential to their art and design education, and some do not have the patience for them, and find it easy to isolate the two from each other. In the case of technocratic eco-modernism, this serves to breed artists and designers with more limited views of environmentalism and an over reliance on technocentric solutions. Within institutional forums such as RISD, critiques of social and political sciences that encourage a more nuanced and less singular point of view should be encouraged. In this phase of modernity, our relationship to the physical world and the environment is more complicated than ever. The premise of conviviality, and the role of artists and designers in a convivial society should be a part of the pedagogy and fostered explicitly in a studio context.

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