February 16 – March 30
Gallery talk with exhibitors March 1, 4–6pm, reception 6-7:30pm
San Francisco State University
Inside/Outside: Working our way out of the damaged now (Design as dialectics) is a discourse manifested as an exhibition of experimental design work at the San Francisco State University Design Gallery from February 16 to March 30 with a discussion in the gallery on March 1 from 4-6pm. The exhibition is curated by Joshua Singer and Virginia Tassinari and is in collaboration with DESIS Philosophy Talk @Studio Time and LUCA School of Arts DESIS Lab.
Critical and speculative design, and design futures are practices that use design as a method to challenge our expectations and propose new ideas and encourage discourse. This is not the usual form of design that solves problems, improves, and persuades. It is a practice that uses design methods and creates design artifacts that provide critique and commentary on culture. Inside/Outside: Design as Dialectics is a discourse within this practice with a specific philosophical question, on how design can reveal the unrealized potentialities of our world (as explicated by a passage by the Frankfurt philosopher Theodor Adorno.) The exhibition’s aim is to offer a dialogue on design as a practice that can “dialectically” change perceptions and reveal unexpressed potentialities. The theme, the concept, and the assumptions are experimental by nature. It is a proposition and its expectations are open ended and so the exhibition offers design that will surprise and challenge.
Featuring contributions by
Naama Agassi, Maxime Benvenuto, Gali Blay, John Calvelli, Junyun Chen, Laura Chessin, Mila Chorbadzhieva, Nathan Davis, Cassandra Ellison, Benjamin Gaydos, Zach Kaiser, Wioleta Kaminska, Geoff Kaplan & Gail Swanlund, Daniel McCafferty, Jeremy Mende, the Non-Proliferators (Valentina Branada, Elena Habre and Christian Smirnow), CAT Normoyle & Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Sören Rosenbak, Anika Sarin, Gregory Schmidt, Christopher Sisk, Francisco Jose Besa Vial, Adam Towbridge & Jessica Westbrook.
Oppositional identities are stabilized by the perception of difference. Whatever cracks in this facade arise are minimized by the desire to hold on to one’s own stable position within the relationship. As a designer and professor in the Gulf, teaching young muslim women the values of Western design ideology, we live a daily dialectic exchange, where we hold the past, the traditional, the conservative, the negation of the female image alongside the completely contemporary phenomenon of hyper self-awareness, social digital identity, social critique and flexible gender identity.
As we collaborate, we find ourselves surrounded in all directions by inconsistencies and contradictions that neither can be, nor ask to be solved. The contradictions require us to allow them to coexist, and so we continue without rational explanation. This irrational daily dialog of lives is a condition that we explore alongside our acceptance of it. There are few venues in our region for outright criticism and critical dialog, but between the lines of conversation, while we celebrate our differences, we are also interrogating the truth of our apparently oppositional identities which we inherited before our meeting. It is a productive act, it destabilizes our assumptions, and builds new ones. It proposes an alternative future, it is quiet but monumental.