The political system in which a designer works and lives cannot be disconnected from his/her created design. A political ideology is continuously being produced and communicated through design. Acknowledging this fact can give designers more agency in their practice to either serve or subvert the status quo.
For a design that wants to stake its dissidence, theory is not about abstractions, but about the specific culture of time and place with ineluctable conditions and history. Unlike operational criticism that keeps its hands literally and metaphorically free when it comes to acting on the basis of its ideas, the operative criticism of the practical intellectual only takes on ‘hands and feet’ in the unstable, paradoxical relation between thinking and creating.
Jan van Toorn
Criticism as a design method offers a fundamental opportunity to develop a reflective and critical approach to design, and more importantly, to society. This method creates opportunities to develop a critical practice; one that shapes a continuous agency and interest in systemic and infrastructural problems with an ability to critically adapt and research their multi-layered nature. On the one hand that will help the designer to become a substantial agent of change, and on the other, in particularly difficult circumstances of conflicted personal, private and public interest such as commercial practice, to find opportunities for criticality.