Changing the Rhythm of Design Capitalism and the Total Aestheticization of the World

Márton Szentpéteri 1
  • 1 Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Department of Theoretical Studies, Budapest, Hungary

Abstract

In his article “Changing the Rhythm of Design Capitalism and the Total Aestheticization of the World” Márton Szentpéteri intends to highlight the most important stages of the accelerating total aestheticization of the world resulting at the contemporary period of neoliberal design culture. In the age of design capitalism, the hegemony of consumption culture is being constantly maintained by a culture industry substantially expressed by and embodied in design. The paper claims that the eminent reason of the crisis of democracy today is rooted in the global society of the designed spectacle with its one-dimensional citizens loosing almost all abilities to recognize and consequently defend their rights and to decrease their alienation from real needs, responsibilities and sensibilities. Democracy is fading due to neoliberal globalization – especially in the case of the commercialization of the public sector. However, the particular role of design in this process has hitherto been neglected or underestimated. Against the trend of fading democracy, different sorts of design activism experimenting with disobedient objects and strategies of critical design point towards a much-awaited rebirth of art in terms of its compensatory power against damages of our lifeworld generated by the modernization process with globalisation in the lead. These endeavours are in harmony with the return of art in terms of emergency aesthetics. This rebirth can also be reinforced by the defence of the values of liberal learning being so much threatened amid a global higher education crisis, and especially by understanding design education in the frameworks of liberal learning rather than vocational training.

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