Note — Jun 09, 2019

Design Is Not an Intellectual Exercise

Seen in → No.83

Source → harvardmagazine.com/2019/05/commencement-teju-c...

Some excerpts from a talk by Teju Cole who’s encouraging designers to consider their influence and participation in a broader context beyond just the work. To meditate. (Also, connects nicely to the interview above.)

We face challenges, and we need you to be a door for us. We’re living in a time of toxic patriarchy still. We are living in a time of white supremacy still. There are those who agree to build prisons. There are those who agree to build detention camps. Oppression has always had great use for architects and designers and urban planners. Redlining was a technical skill. And everything that betrays our collective humanity depends on people just like you, with skills just like yours. […]

[Toni Morrison] Just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. […]

You will do work that allows you to live with yourself. That’s the bigger dream, putting feeling into form in a way that doesn’t do violence to what is human in you.