Method of Translating – Written Response

We Should Really Be Concerned About
“Critical “for everyone?

To discuss this question, we have to start with the essential meaning of the word critical. First, let me present the three elements that Ramia Mazé proposes. These three elements overlap and influence each other in critical design practice.

●Critical Attitude
Designers must repeatedly ask themselves questions about their perspectives and social issues during the production process and have a critical attitude to incorporate new interpretations and social positions into the design practice.

●Concerning Debate
Critical practice requires the challenge of updating traditional values and formats. It requires thoughtful discussion based on critical approaches and discipline within the community.

●Pressing issues on Society
We must maintain sight of the purpose of critical design, which is to address social issues. We don’t practise critical design to talk among designers; we do it to raise questions about social and political issues.

What can be read from these is that the role of designers is transitioning from Author to Researcher. The reason for this is not only that the function of design has matured as a discipline and that its legitimacy has been sought as a research tool but also that the importance of multiple research methods, such as social science and cultural anthropology, has increased.

From this point of view, the social issues that need to be addressed are by no means the domain of designers alone, and that design does not necessarily have to be the method of presenting solutions.


However, the word “critical” tends to be consumed like a label in the current design industry. One reason for this is the ambiguity of the word critical. Therefore, we will need to examine the very word, critical critically.

It all started when the curation team vaguely defined the term for the 2007 exhibition “Forms of Inquiry: The Architecture of Critical Graphic Design.”.

Since then, the word “critical” has been consumed like a label in the Internet media, and we have seen many ironic design expressions that seem to skim only the surface meaning.

Designers can now easily buy good reviews and followers on Social Networks. In such a situation, there may be a certain number of designers who have an allergic reaction to criticism itself. However, we must remember that these criticisms are made not for the designer’s identity but as part of their social contribution.


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