Who is it Built for? The Power and Influence of Design

Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri at Online

Wed, Sep 16 at 8 p.m.   |   75 minutes
Olios: Drop-in classes led by professors

In this Olio designers and non-designers are welcome to examine flaws in traditional design education. This lesson maps the limits of the field, critiques what has come before, and calls on participants to generate alternatives. Design alone will not save us, but it can pose alternatives, suggest new ways to feel joy, and be used for positive social impact.

Everyone is impacted by design. While it isn’t always obvious, design has a huge amount of influence on the ways we interact with each other on our planet, not just in aesthetic ways but in tangible high impact ways as well. From the functioning of transport systems to the way we eat, design is the backdrop and the structure for how we interact. With this power, there is the potential for good however the history of design is fraught. It is responsible for the extraction of resources, the degradation of environments, and for increased social inequities. Often directed at capital gain, most designs are oriented to generate income. But to use design solely for the purpose of profit is to overlook its impact and miss an opportunity to improve the discipline. Almost 50 years ago Victor Papanek wrote, “Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical”  a message just as relevant today.

In this Olio designers and non-designers are welcome to examine flaws in traditional design education including the inherited power structures embedded in concepts of design, its military legacy, creation as predicated on consumption, barriers to access, restrictions on the range of decision making voices, gatekeeping institutions, and a lack of foresight. This lesson maps the limits of the field, critiques what has come before, and calls on participants to generate alternatives. Design alone will not save us, but it can pose alternatives, suggest new ways to feel joy, and be used for positive social impact. Together with will ask and speculate: Who is design for and how can we make it more inclusive?

Teacher: Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri

Lily is an industrial designer and ecofuturist currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work addresses emerging climates and conditions of cities through design interventions. Using video, food, curriculum, material exploration, products, and installation, she draws attention to underlying social, political, and environmental systems and explores alternatives.


Venue: Online

Zoom link will be sent upon signup.


Add to Calendar Sept. 16, 20208 p.m. Sept. 16, 2020 America/New_York Think Olio | Who is it Built for? The Power and Influence of Design In this Olio designers and non-designers are welcome to examine flaws in traditional design education. This lesson maps the limits of the field, critiques what has come before, and calls on participants to generate alternatives. Design alone will not save us, but it can pose alternatives, suggest new ways to feel joy, and be used for positive social impact. Online

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.