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Furthering Victor Papanek's legacy: A personal perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 19.07.2021, 08:49 authored by Cees De-BontCees De-Bont
Design schools around the world often state that they offer instruction on topics such as sustainability, inclusive design, and responsible design. Fifty years ago, design scholar Victor Papanek had already begun teaching industrial designers that they were contributing to consumerism by designing unnecessary gadgets. Papanek urged them to offer more responsible solutions to the real difficulties that people face daily, difficulties that spanned a range of problems from physical challenges to societal ones. His works were not appreciated—at all—by his American industrial designer contemporaries, but still served as powerful inspiration to European design academics whose efforts comprise some of the first PhD work on design. Here I describe Papanek's writing and inspiration, and note how long it took before influential design academics would seek to educate and inspire others based on his work. I have served as dean at three universities where his legacy lives on in teaching and research. I will reflect on some of the recent activities taking place under Papanek's influence at these institutions, and offer a personal perspective of these developments, and some reflections on the progress in light of Papanek's lessons overall.

History

School

  • Design and Creative Arts

Department

  • Design

Published in

She Ji

Volume

7

Issue

2

Pages

262 - 281

Publisher

Elsevier on behalf of Tongji University

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

16/08/2020

Publication date

2021-06-24

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

2405-8726

eISSN

2405-8718

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Cees De Bont. Deposit date: 18 July 2021