The Media Trade in Virtual Design

Giovanni Innella, Paul Rodgers

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Abstract

As media attention has become a dominating force within the design economy, visibility became the combustible that fuels the current design industry. Designed objects were once real products, but are now often prototypes, props to be exhibited and photographed, whose role is to fill space in the media, raise the media profile of their creators and convey the name of brokers, sponsors and partners. As a result celebrated design objects are now rare pieces that are highly visible in the virtual media, while they are virtually absent from the conventional market. For industry, this trajectory of design makes them props to fill space in the media, raise the media profile of their creators and ‘brand’ the name of brokers, sponsors and partners. Today a designer has to be successful in the media in order to attract industry attention. This paper observes the way designers make virtue of their visibility in mediated contexts, thus redefining the industrial model of design practice. Simultaneously, the paper looks at the way the media makes use of its influence in a new virtual design context, producing informed speculations for the evolution of design activities. And in order to contextualize this evolution the paper follows a trajectory from the history of design to build a background to this foreground.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFusion Journal
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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