Theoretical analysis of contemporary design – Essay Example

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In view of this, design may contradict the principles of efficiency and utility as well as taste and profit. In regards to architecture, it is from the viewpoint of humanities and sciences that we can position the concepts of aesthetic and social theories; but there is also the legal norm and client relations, which can be positioned in the viewpoint of profession. In the field of architecture, these issues are highly debatable in the present-day world. The theory that supports architecture was re-evaluated following the 1970’s end of the ‘era of manifestos – this era was characterized by a weak link between practical reality and theoretical expression.

Among the things that brings about criticism in respect to architectural theory includes the functional/operative aspect (Hays, 1999). With respect to these issues, Agrest (1976) argues supported semi-autonomous architecture by associating some aspects with normative and particular angle and adding that the aspects that are shared with other approaches to production could be the foundation for legitimate critical discussion. Tafuri (1974) maintained that, just as it is argued in the political arena, a justly critical architecture is possible only in the event of a complete revolution. By 1990s, the issue of critical architecture was divided into form on one hand and culture on the other hand (Hays, 1984).

In response to these divisions, the issue of critical architecture has been recently amended. Those who support criticality afterwards have departed from the concepts of negation and resistance disjuncture, and instead adopted concepts such as pragmatics, procedures and performativity (Allen, 2000; Baird, 2004/5). In view of this, criticality and theory are amended in respect to a projective and beneficial approach.

Henceforth, the word practice is clearly proposed as a method of putting forward alternatives and questions the existing state of affairs with the public and the clients. Opponents of design Since 1960s, the concept of design has been radically questioned, especially in respect to ideological and societal aspects. A movement that has been opposed to design was initiated in the UK and continued to have a strong impact within the political and artistic discussion. In the early days, some of the perspectives that were pointed out in respect to design culture include reform, conformity and contestation.

Those opposed to design were in the opinion of enforcing and instilling ideology in designs.


Agrest (1976) Design versus Non-Design. Oppositions 6 (Fall 1976): pp. 331-354.

Allen (2000) Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation. Amsterdam: G+B Arts International.

Baird (2005) Criticality and its Discontents. Harvard Design Magazine, no. 21, pp.1-6

Dunne and Raby (2001) Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser and August Media.

Hill (2000) Institutions of Architecture. Offramp 1, no. 7, pp. 72-81.

Lees-Maffei and Sandino (2004) Dangerous Liasons: Relationships between Design, Art and Craft. Journal of Design History 17, no. 3, pp. 207-219.

Thackara (1988) Beyond the Object in Design. In Design After Modernism, 11-34. New York: Thames and Hudson.

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