Tool #1: Examining role models

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As in every profession, and also within design some people are held up as role models, as the ones who have made it and whose footsteps to follow or position to aspire to is framed as desirable. As we are living in a period in which making a living as a designer is difficult for most – whether through experimental or more traditional practice – we propose to take this fact as a starting point to question the role models we are following in order to consider the value they have for us.

Here are a few questions to help us get started.

a) How did our role models manage to attain that position/career/level of practice? Is it possible to trace the structures, relations and outputs that allowed these role models to get where they are?

b) Which of these structures, relations and outputs do you value, and which not? Are they accessible to a wide range of people?

c) What kind of values and behaviours is their position based on?

d) Who do these role models serve with their practice? What imaginaries are they reinforcing?

Last edit: 08.12.2014