What Design Can’t Do: Essays on Design and Disillusion | Silvio Lorusso

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Design: what was once a promising field rooted in problem solving has become a problem in itself. The skill set of designers appears shaky and insubstantial - their expertise is received with indifference, their know-how is trivialised by online services, their work is compromised by a series of unruly external factors. If you see yourself as a designer without qualities; if you feel cheated, disappointed or betrayed by design, this book is for you.

Starting from the premise that design is broken, this excellent title by writer, artist and designer Silvio Lorusso, this book probes the disillusionment that permeates design. It tackles the deskilling effects provoked by digital semi-automation, the instances of ornamental politics fashioned to please the museum-educational complex, the nebulous promises of design schools.


While reviving historical expressions of disenchantment, Sivio Lorusso examines present-day memes and social media rants. To depict this disheartening crisis, he craftsa new critical vocabulary for readers to build upon. What this exposé reveals is both worrying and refreshing: rather than producing a meaningful order, design might be about inhabiting chaos.


Size: 129 x 200mm

Pages: 340

Publisher: Set Margins (paperback)

What Design Can’t Do: Essays on Design and Disillusion | Silvio Lorusso