Welcome to the fourth issue of Ligature Journal, in which we look at disruption in design. Disruption by design isn’t a neutral act – it can be a powerful tool for good or bad; a buzz-word, a meaningless cliché; a way of challenging design thinking, or a means to camouflage sloppy thinking.
Disruption is taught in design faculties in tertiary institutions around the world; it is the topic of TED talks, books and elevator pitches. It is as easy to dismiss as it is to embrace a superficial understanding of what disruption is, and what it can mean to design and designers. We believe there is substance behind the buzzword sheen.
While this journal cannot, and does not attempt to, exhaustively examine all the nuances of disruption as a powerful tool for change, we do hope that this issue will provoke thought (and provide some amusement). In these pages, you will find a range of definitions and examples of disruption; tools to help you disrupt your own patterns of design behaviour; and many personal (even vehemently idiosyncratic) responses to what disruption means to designers beyond its current status – as designer and teacher Jacqueline Hill puts it – as ‘lingo du jour’.
Designer, scientist and author Larry Constantine provides a user’s guide to the disruption that is collaborative creation. We get a close-up look at the magical sculptures of John Muntean, whose day job as a scientist is also about disrupting perception, and chat with landscape architect/urban designer Michael Spackman about the powerful disruptive tool of allowing ourselves to relinquish control. We meet Lorenzo Bocchi, whose personal belief in the positive force of disruption has had him move half-way around the world and choose to wake before dawn, regularly. Of course, not all ‘things’ said to be disruptive are actually disruptive.
David Meier, head of design at domain.com.au, argues that the move of real estate sales online may look different, but that this is an industry ripe for true designed disruption. And we also meet the natural disruptors – the young, enthusiastic designers who have generously given of their time and energy to create this issue, who inspire us with their cheerful and unceasing energy and ability to always ask ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ Enjoy.
Featuring: Lorenzo Bocchi, Larry Constantine, Jacqueline Hill, Annika Keogh, David Meier, John Muntean, Michael Spackman, Neil Barnett, Andrew Barnum, Lissa Barnum, Jane Connory, Tim Jetis, Karen Kwok, Stefan Lie, Annette Lodge, Russell & Carolyn McFarland, Michael O’Brien, Graham Rendoth, Wayne Thompson, Mick Thorp, James de Vries.