Cabinet with three cupboards and three drawers.
Laissez-faire refers to unregulated Capitalism;
It sucks up the earth’s natural resources and through processes of labour transforms them, into wealth, for the few, while causing hardship for many and even death.
The promise of the production of utility that benefits the masses has been exploited to the extreme by advances in psychology and in marketing. Utility is mostly redundant replaced by mass market, disposable and unnecessary junk.
Look at Laissez-faire,
the painting and the article;
The article, Laissez-faire resembles an upside-down hopper sucking up the natural resource of the earth that are, through the process of labour (symbolically, the red, man-made rectangle in the article and the red, child handprints in the painting), transformed into wealth (the gold colour).
There’s scant regard for the planet or humanity, signified by the three skulls, and the aggressive saw-tooth edge.
On the left side of the cupboard there’s a black rectangle that symbolises ignorance, an unconsciousness that’s a necessary creation of capitalism.
Blue is the colour of our oceans, sky and planet – the home to our resources, to us and to all life.
During the second stage of development Laissez-faire revealed its function, as a gun cabinet, in preparation for the peoples revolt against capitalism. However, the acquisition of two AK47’s proved problematic.
The number three, 3, has a presence throughout the design and represents aspects of dogma embedded in Western culture.
Acrylic on linen, height 90 cm x 150 cm.
The solution at the end of the first stage
was shortlisted by the Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition.
Postmodern Design is
Language Orientated Design;
Laissez-faire employs the three linguistic signs; symbol, index and icon.
Symbol: the colours and forms are chosen for their symbolic values.
Index: the skulls represent adversity, death and destruction.
Icon: the article is a cabinet and it looks like and functions as a cabinet.
The structural configuration of Laissez-faire uses signs similar to the principles of the structure of language (Structural Linguistics, Structuralism), as laid out by Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics. Saussure is the father of modern Linguistics. His work has influenced most of the Social Sciences.
We are creatures of symbolism, it’s our evolutionary leap.
In design, Postmodernism, follows culture.
Like written and spoken language, design language and visual language comprises of an arrangement of signs, a signifier and a signified in a context with meaning.
The approach to the project is in two parts:
The first part is to decide unambiguously on a subject. Followed by research and development on paper aiming for a clear final outcome that summarises the subject concisely. This research and development is best done when there is no final product in mind so as not to bias the outcome. Without clarity here, the second part cannot begin.
The second part is to use the elements from the first part as structural components in the design of an object, now to be decided. Consider choosing an object that contributes to the overall significance of the subject. The significance of the configuration and function of elements should be kept in mind and contribute to the overall significance of the finished article.
My work has been categorised as postmodernism or postmodern design and this general term is not a comfortable home for it. Perhaps at the very extreme of postmodernism there’s a gate and path to where it truly belongs. It’s a “Language Oriented Postmodern Design”.