A term first used by Anthony Dunne in his book, Hertzian Tales (1999), referring to an attitude toward design rather than a movement or method. It follows in the footsteps of other practices (like Radical Design in Italy and avant-garde British architecture of the late 1960s and early 1970s) that have regarded design as a way to pose incisive questions, challenge the status quo, and think deeply about the possible future consequences of present choices. Critical Design is speculative, conceptual, provocative, and can be darkly satirical. It does not always lead to usable products, but it does produce long-term thinking, a nuanced view of consumers as complex, contradictory individuals, and alternative solutions suggesting that change is always possible, even inevitable.


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