MoMA experiments with Design and Violence

An experimental online discussion opened up by New York’s MoMA, Design and Violence wonders how the individual design features of an object can expand its use beyond the designer’s intention. Namely, this project deals with the misappropriation of ordinary objects for violent purposes and how an innocent design feature becomes a design flaw when it has the ability to inflict pain and harm on others.

The curators  of this project are: Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Jamer Hunt, Director, graduate program in Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons The New School for Design; and Kate Carmody, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design. Together they have assembled a diverse range of design objects, projects, and concepts that have an anecdotal association with violence.

Some of the discussed objects are cult symbols of impulsive violence – the stiletto – while others are modern day inventions, which are only just beginning to emerge as morally contentious designs – the 3D printed gun.

Vlieger & Vandam’s Guardian Angel handbag

Vlieger & Vandam’s Guardian Angel handbag

A provocative study, Design and Violence invites academic experts in the fields of science, philosophy, literature, music, film, journalism and politics to respond to selected objects in order to spark a wider conversation with all readers. All pieces are being grouped in one or more of the following macabre categories: Hack/Infect, Constrain, Stun, Penetrate, Manipulate/Control, Intimidate and Explode.

Following the virtual unveiling of the works, the curators invite experts from diverse fields such as science, music, politics and philosophy to express their views on the topic. The curators write, “we intend to present case studies that will spark discussion and bring the relationship between design and violence to center stage for designers and the people they serve – all of us”.

Follow MoMA’s weekly Design and Violence discussions online.

 

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  • Vlieger & Vandam’s Guardian Angel handbag
  • Vlieger & Vandam’s Guardian Angel handbag
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