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Articles tagged “critique

Credit: Satoshi Hashimoto -

No Experience Required

Posted on October 1, 2013

Times change. And it changes brutally fast.
At the rate of yesterday’s knowledge becoming irrelevant and impending possibilities of more jobs and services becoming automated, it begs the question that in this day and age what does having certification mean for a designer?


Design critic Corin Hughes-Stanton once suggested that “design will become more aesthetically adventurous”, and I do not see why it should be any different for design education. Subjectively, certification for designers is unnecessary, because as overused it may be, eagerness for good design and the catalyst of passionate learning will forever be the imperative factors. The contrast between the two is that while the latter pushes developmental skills (self-taught) and design inquisitiveness, the former primes the graduate for the industry ahead — an odd logic seeing that certification has little significance on creative hiring. Furthermore, you will never find designers flaunting their certifications in front of their Portfolio Night booths.


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A Design Battle Cry

Posted on April 30, 2013

This article is part two in a three-part series. The first observes on criticism towards brands, the second on criticism towards design, and the third engages on the state of design criticism.

In the first article, “The Impulse to be Heard”, the perception of criticism towards brands was discussed in relation to Internet anonymity and the prevalence of empty but destructive critique. Its conclusion emphasizes on patience and knowledge as necessary components towards constructive contribution, or otherwise it is as good as noise. This second part, A Design Battle Cry, continues with two supposedly unharmonious areas in the design business: Crowd-smashing and crowdsourcing.

To clarify in this context, crowd-smashing in the article interpretation is the criticism towards creative work while crowd-sourcing is the solicitation of contributions from the creative community. The nature of criticism and crowd-smashing is explained in the first article, as an impulse to be heard. Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, while not an exclusive term to the design field (but shall be referred to as so in this article), holds many subject definitions. The first generic definition of crowd-sourcing is set in 2006 by Jeff Howe, a contributing editor at Wired Magazine, as “the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers.”

Naturally, having attributes of dividing creative work (especially for large-scale projects that require concentrated commitment and responsibility), eliminating client interaction and the requisite of following through with the next project’s action point, the concept of crowdsourcing is quite enjoying a love-hate relationship in the creative community.


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Photo: Dickie Neri

Staying Alive: What Moves A Country

Posted on April 26, 2013

This article is the 1st of 3 in a series entitled, Dance to Live: Decoding a Culture, which explores the intersections of dance, culture, history, and identity in the 21st century Philippine context, aiming to scratch the surface of an ever festive, ever gyrating culture and probe into the nuances and contrast with its Hispanic heritage, and its continental incongruity. This article offers an overview of the Filipino dancing culture as the world sees it, and attempts to peel the layers to reveal an ingrained permission culture.

The sun, bright and fiery than ever, burns mercilessly. Its rays seem to stretch out to the opposite poles of the earth, spreading and engulfing like wildfire. Wildfire of a tropical summer, burning as bad as it drains.

And at the heart of this noontime spotlight—of smog, traffic and road rage—is a solitary figure, with a large grin and limbs that swing, wave, and gyrate to an esoteric beat. The person is in uniform, almost-easily recognized by the general public as a traffic enforcer. A public servant. A civil officer. He looks like he’s having fun, as he twirls and beckons to one side of the thoroughfare. His hips don’t lie; you can almost hear him vocalize, as he signals to your car to move along and make it snappy.

Enveloped by thick layers of fumes, vehicles, and tension, this officer maintains his routine of standing—dancing—in the middle of the road to ease the traffic and your nerves. And so far, it seems to be effective. The decrease in horn honking is noticeable, as well as the minimized tendency for gridlocks and counter-flows, not to least mention the steadier traffic flow—perhaps not the smoothest, but nonetheless calm and cooperative.


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The Impulse to be Heard: Criticism Towards Brands

Posted on March 16, 2013

This is part one in a three-part series. The first observes on criticism towards brands, the second on criticism towards design, and the third engages on the state of design criticism.

Criticism, by its very name, rings certain confusion in the practice of 21st century communication. With the arrival (and protection) of web anonymity, it is easy to see how criticism borders the line in misrepresenting itself with ‘personal attacks’. In comparison, the nature of criticizing (regardless of political, literary, or art disciplines) in its early years was solely presented as an engagement channel to debate with good intentions and positive discernment towards a common objective. But with the current conquest of technology in our daily communication, the art of critique, once deemed necessary to have professional knowledge in understanding criticism, has been despairingly reduced to ‘assumed negativity’ and ‘expressions of discontent’. Needless to say, the empowerment of technology enables anyone to be a critic today.

In describing the exploitations behind online criticism, one article lashes out at the social media bullies by equating their intimidation to cries for attention. The article, albeit crudely written, brings to light an unsettling observation where online petitions, blog posts, tweets and status updates hold authority over companies and brand acumen, but grazes partially on the damage of ‘finding faults’ being done to brands. To sum things up, criticism today is as simple as typing, “I don’t like this” into a comment box or hitting a ‘dislike’ button.

Criticism today, is an impulse to be heard.

Part One: Brands

While the stories behind strong companies/brands of today (Nike, McDonald’s, BBC, etc.) are largely attributed to successful communications between bold approaches (staying resilient, non-conforming) and confident thinking (belief in the brand), the shrinkage in today’s attention span is slated to force them in rapidly molding their marketing strategies, often to consumers’ obtuse preferences. And the University of California is one such case.


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