Designing sublime objects of ideology

Both design and ideology operate in the mundane materiality of everyday life which causes them to strongly influence each other. Furthermore, ideology needs design to materialize its abstraction, design is thus positioned in a supporting role to the status-quo. This role seems contradictory to design’s mission of systemic problem-solving and alternative future-making.

This project mapped out the connections between design and ideology. For this I used Žižek’s theory of ideology to critically examine how design maintains ideology. By designing an anarchist coffee machine, contrasting it with the Tellart Coffee Connector, and discussing these props with different designers, I mapped out how the current mechanisms of ideology are shaping design, and suggested possibilities for change. With this analysis I argued that any design project which aims to transform society must critically examine the ideology behind their design practices and motivations, in order to be able to succeed.