The Real Designer Becomes His Own Client

In Research & Destroy: A Plea for Design as Research Daniel van der Velden – who earned his BA in Graphic Design at the Hogeschool Rotterdam and his MFA in Design from the Jan van Eyck Academie – discusses the lack of scientific, technical or factual affairs in the creation and solution of graphic design or visual communication problems.

Velden states that human beings no longer have any desire for design that is driven by need, that invention and a design represent different stages of a technological development, and that most designers only ‘design desires’ rather than what is needed. Velden states that graphic design/visual communication problems are “the problems and the solutions of the game of rhetoric, expectations and opinions” (Velden).

Velden further states that important graphic design is “one generated by the designer himself, a commentary in the margins of visual culture,” (Velden) and that innovating designers must pull away from companies, corporations, logos and house styles. He further states that those jobs are being more and more filled by communications managers and marketing experts.

The quote that I most agree with is “If designers are laborers, then their labor can be purchased at the lowest possible price… the real designer then becomes his own client” (Velden), and I feel that this champions design as Fourth Order Design, and as problem-solvers and researchers.