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D.A.R.Y.L. Or The Uncomfortable Body Named Design

D.A.R.Y.L. Or The Uncomfortable Body Named Design

Hollywood teaches us how to deal with complex issues in a comfortable way-how to pick the good or bad side. In the 1980s a number of obscure films were produced which were critical of governmental institutions. One film in particular from this era opened us up to Hollywood's take on the true meaning of family values. D.A.R.Y.L. revolves around the themes of humanity versus science and politics and the (dis)advantages of technology. The title is an acronym for Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform, and central to the film's plot is a military funded project in which a body with a computer as a brain (D.A.R.Y.L.) escapes a military base with the help of friendly scientists and is adopted by a typical American family. D.A.R.Y.L. tries to adapt to the change in its living environment, which doesn't go without friction.
Design displays a comparable mechanism. The problem solving ability in the field seems to behave strangely in a different or predetermined context. Multi-disciplinarity today gives us "new" fields like social design, sustainability, stardom and trends. In order to survive and maintain itself, the field of design is forced to relate to these new strange surroundings. Authentic, objective and subjective values of the object are being forced into the background in order to relate to the ruling values of the moment. In this series the uncomfortable body named design will be addressed in several ways, by defining a spectrum of problematic spasms that arise from our relation to the "new".

'D.A.R.Y.L' was initiated and is moderated by Bas van Beek. As an anti-designer Van Beek criticizes branding and intelligent marketing mechanisms, poor conceptualism and uncritical designer cults. His work explores the connection between politics and design. Van Beek often works with found materials, exploiting the aesthetics of the random and of chance. He teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam and the Technical University, Delft. His work is in the collections of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam and Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden. www.basvanbeek.com

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