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robertogreco : holland   7

Brexit Stage Right: What Now? - @robfahey
"Fifth and finally, this isn’t just about the UK. Brexit has come about as a consequence not so much of the European Union or its policies, but as an expression of a general anger and dissatisfaction that has also reared its head across much of the developed world. It’s not unreasonable to compare the UK’s Leave campaign with Donald Trump in the USA, Le Pen in France or Wilders in Holland. Voting for Brexit was characterised by nationalist sentiment and a strong desire to “take back” Britain’s sovereignty from the ill-defined others who have appropriated it. It thrived in communities that have seen widening inequality and economic malaise even as they watched political leaders turn up on TV night after night to talk about economic recovery; communities that may have been delivered a mortal blow by the 2008 recession and the austerity policies which followed, but which had already been suffering from neglect and economic abuse for decades before that, as successive governments tore up more and more pages of the post-war social contract in favour of the shiny new religion of markets and efficiency. There was a time when those communities turned to left-wing movements for their salvation, to unions and to the Labour party; with much of the power of the unions broken and the Labour party pursuing aspirational middle class voters, opportunities have been opened for new and far less savoury political movements to take root. At their core is a deep dissatisfaction and anger not just with individual political actors but with the very institutions of democracy and representative government; a deep conviction that it is not merely that specific parties or policies that have caused people’s quality of life to decline, but that the whole system is stacked against them. Thus, anything that’s seen as part of the system – be it politicians, the media, or even academics and independent experts – is suspect. It is not an attitude that calls for political change, for a new party in power or a new prime minister; it is an attitude that calls for the tearing down of everything, and offers nothing with which to replace it. It is frightening precisely because, in its absolute conviction that the institutions of democracy themselves are a vast conspiracy against the common man, it ends up being insatiable; even if today’s Brexit leaders become Britain’s leaders, in doing so they will become part of “the system” and face the anger of the same people who now cheer them on. The cycle will continue until someone turns up with the capacity to tame the monster that has been conjured up by economic hardship, inequality and unthinking nationalism. Unfortunately, the lessons of the past tell us that such a person is unlikely to be benevolent.

None of this is unique to Britain, and none of it can be fixed by anything less than a fundamental rethink of how we have chosen to structure our society and our economies. Even as market capitalism and globalisation have done wonders at lifting the world’s poorest people out of poverty – an achievement for which capitalism does not get remotely enough credit – it has begun to run out of rope in the developed world. In nations from Japan to Western Europe to North America, inequality is growing and standards of living are slipping. Labour market reforms have turned whole generations into disposable people; I can’t blame British people for laughing off the notion that the EU has protected them in the workplace, when companies like Sports Direct have based their business model off exploiting every loophole, legal and otherwise, no matter how desperately cruel and inhumane, that might allow them to wring more money, more profitability out of their vulnerable, poorly paid staff. “If you leave the EU, you’ll lose your workers rights!” is no argument at all to someone whose zero-hours contract leaves them in desperate financial instability, or whose exploitation by an avaricious, unscrupulous employer has been rubber-stamped by the government itself in the form of a Workfare deal.

The Brexit vote wasn’t just a rejection of the EU; it was a rejection of the whole system, of the whole establishment, of the whole set of institutions and practices that make up the developed world. It was, in ways, a rejection of modernity – a demand to turn back the clock. Turning back the clock isn’t in anyone’s power to deliver. If we want to break this dangerous cycle of economic inequality, social cleavage and political extremism before it rolls out of control, though, it’s beholden upon our countries and institutions to start paying attention to inequality, to public services, to quality of life and to the huge swathe of the electorate for whom every mention of the phrase “economic recovery” in the past two decades has just been salt in the wound."
robfahey  2016  via:tealtan  brexit  elitism  government  policy  economics  europe  us  unions  labor  work  inequality  establishment  austerity  politics  eu  france  holland  netherlands  recession  2008  democracy  power  change  wealthinequality  incomeinequality  globalization  poverty  capitalism  japan  exploitation  organization  classism 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Sandberg Instituut [from the Dirty Art Department page]
"The Dirty Art Department is an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action. It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, the holy and the profane. It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and between other people and ourselves. It is a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolu­tions or business models, paintings or galaxies.

Although The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it rejects the Kantian division between the pure and the applied. Since god is dead and the spectacle is omnipresent, the creation of new and alternative realities is the only way to provide a new perspective on our life on this planet.

The department is structured as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action. It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, the holy and the profane. It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and between other people and ourselves. It is a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings or galaxies.

In line with its inclusive view on design, the Master’s degree programme is open to students from all backgrounds, including designers, artists, bankers, sceptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and those with an inquiring mind. Encounters and crossovers with the other Master’s programmes at the Sandberg Instituut form an integral part of The Dirty Art Department’s mission.

Reflection at The Dirty Art Department takes the form of dialogue and exchange; a conference series and an online platform allow the course to function as an open school of thought, by sharing the toolbox, subjects, and lectures of the programme with the world at large."

[via: https://twitter.com/ablerism/status/308572231770980352 ]
art  design  holland  dirtyart  dirtyarts  openstudioproject  thinktanks  lcproject  individualism  individuality  interdependence  dirtyartdepartment  sandberginstituut  collectivity  making  doing  dialog  exchange  conversation  dialogue 
march 2013 by robertogreco
CLOWNS, CHAIRS AND DUTCH FOREIGN AFFAIRS « THAT NEW DESIGN SMELL
"GERT DUMBAR:

There are lots of things you could ask yourself about design. Especially in Holland. Marcel Wanders is this sort of clown in design, and makes absolutely not interesting pieces of furniture.

In Holland, we have two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. And the other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. That is something you should work out. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. So for instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable, obsolete and therefore bad for society because we don’t really need it. While ontwerpe means, and the Anglo-saxon word, but its stronger, means engineering. That means you as a person try to invent a new thing—which is intelligent, which is clever, and which will have a long-life. And that’s called stylistic durability. It means you can use it for a long time.

Carrying this even further, consider an American definition of design. As we all know, America is a capitalistic state and was the source of most recent economic crisis. Americans are all about money; money is status. And they have invented a variation on engineering called “Sloanism,” which is a term from before the war that came from a General Motors director, Albert Sloan. When they were designed the car, Mr. Sloan said “give it a little change, then it looks new.” And so people start buying it, as well as a status symbol. Sloan was not a designer or engineer, but a true capitalist. His idea of design was to make money by making things look new and fashionable."

GD:

Yeah, but marketing is not a form of knowledge. It’s slow, dull and often repeats itself. Marketing applied to design is terrible. I’m the only Dutch designer who was against this and shouted, for years and years, in interviews and everything.

And there is for instance a lot of designers in Holland that design chairs. Yes, chairs. Now I come into another thing: design and politics. The Dutch embassy is saying Dutch design is world famous, which is in a way true. But they forget it was the Dutch graphic designers that were famous. That is the difference. They changed it into product design, because you can see it and hold it in your hand. The embassies, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is now giving a sort of message to its cultural attaches at embassies: promote Dutch design. Dutch design is a word that I invented—personally, 25 years ago—for graphic design. But they have adopted it, bla bla bla. And they promote these total clowns in design who are very well-known in Holland—those terrible, terrible designers who just do exhibitions of chairs in museums."
design  graphicdesign  typography  gertdumbar  2012  vormgeving  formgeben  ontwerpen  entwurf  language  albertsloan  sloanism  fashion  engineering  industrialdesign  holland  marketing  chairs  dutchdesign  us 
november 2012 by robertogreco
David Byrne's Journal: 12.13.09: The Limits of Multiculturalism
"Can we tolerate difference, without taking toleration to the extreme, where everyone is expected to accept insults and provocations? Tolerance shouldn’t mean we have to let anyone with a different lifestyle boss the rest of us around...The measure of how much we should tolerate is: does it help us get along? If it divides us further, then maybe it’s not a good idea. ... I don’t want to compromise my own activities, safety and way of life more than is reasonably necessary — but I can still accommodate somewhat. Where the line is might shift from time to time — it’s not fixed, or unchangeable forever. Adaptability and accommodation make us human. Absolutes are for machines and vengeful Gods. What we sometimes call common sense — not going by the book, whether that be the law or the Bible — might be how we survive. But being an ever-changing thing, it’s hard to define. It is learnt, I imagine, by living together, improvising, and innovating, not from a rulebook."
multiculturalism  tolerance  holland  switzerland  us  nyc  absolutes  freedom  freedomofspeech  davidbyrne 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Dress Codes - How to Look Like a Grown-Up While Biking to Work - NYTimes.com
"“I use to think that car culture was the problem, but now I think it’s bike culture,” he said. By that he meant that the discourse about city biking is dominated by cycling zealots who don’t have the desire, or the skill, to attract people who don’t see themselves as cyclists, just as people who ride a bike to work.
bikes  fashion  culture  dutchbikes  holland 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Cover Story: Discover Innovations at DOK, Holland’s 'Library Concept Center' [see photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shifted/sets/72157604142377648]
"All of this together makes DOK the place to be and the club people want to be a member of. In the end, this is what it all comes down to. When the people, the most important collection of the library, are happy, the library has a future. At this moment,
gaming  innovation  libraries  library2.0  future  design  lcproject  netherlands  holland  information  books  media  librarydesign  schooldesign  community  children  youth  teens 
june 2008 by robertogreco

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