Monday, 17 November 2014

OUGD401 - Study Task 03 - Referencing


‘Far from seeking a single and complete experience, the post-modern object strives towards an encyclopaedic condition, allowing a myriad of access points, and infinitude of interpretative responses’[i] (Connor. S (1989))
I aim to investigate within this essay the degree to which postmodernism has impacted Graphic Design practice. Postmodernist culture facilitated so much self expression/exploration, which drastically departed from the ‘modern’, resulting in a style that isn't as instantly 'recognisable' as a piece of Swiss design. For me, this is what makes postmodernism so intriguing as a style and ideology.
It is debated that postmodernism died out in the early part of the 21st century, which would suggest that we are now living in a post-postmodern society; and an apparent lack of a creative direction. Design has exploded into many different directions. Recent developments in our social, economic and technological mobility have forced changes in our attitudes towards visual communication and design practice, just as similar shifts prompted changes in the mid to late twentieth century.
I am concerned with the idea that Postmodernism in fact, didn’t die. I will investigate the extent to which postmodern culture continues to influence contemporary Graphic Design practice in 2015.
Attaining an accurate definition of what it means to be ‘Modernist’ or ‘postmodernist’ is challenging. Both words have been employed to describe time eras, artistic movements, characteristics of designed objects, as well as the thoughts and ideas attributed to certain historic periods[ii] (Westwood, S. (2015)). Postmodernism is commonly associated with the buzzword used during the 1980s. It was coined to describe architectural designs that distorted established code. It was soon rapidly applied to describe shifts in a range of the arts. In order to shed light on why Graphic Design aesthetics became increasingly described as Postmodern, an investigation into postmodern theory and critical opinion must take place.
Through observing social and economic changes throughout the 20th century, we can view postmodernism in an objective way. The word can be viewed as paradoxical: looking at it in a nonpartisan stance, the term ‘post’ would suggest ‘subsequent to’. The basic meaning of postmodernism would be that of a rejection to ‘the modern’. The prefix ‘post’ suggests a period that follows the ‘modern’, but how can something be postmodern if we supposedly still exist in a modern era?

[i] Connor. S. (1989), Postmodernist Culture - An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary 
 p.90, John Wiley & Sons
[ii] Westwood, S. (2015). The Influence of Modernism and Postmodernism on Graphic Design.
[online]  - [Available Online] [Accessed 14 Mar. 2015].

Summary of chosen paragraph from 'Teach Yourself Postmodernism', Ward. G, 1997, Holder Headline Limited:

Post-structuralism paragraph - Post-structuralism asks where meaning comes from. It asks questions but refuses to answer any. It forms the philosophical background of post-modern theory. Indeed, post-structuralism is often seen ass post-modern philosophy. One of the dangers of this is that it can give the impression that post structuralism is a single school of thought or academic discipline, a single school of thought. In fact, the term is regularly used to unite the work of a fairly diverse group of thinkers, few of whom ever described themselves as post structuralists. Although the word post-structuralism implied that is simply took over from structuralism at some point in time, it is truer to say that, especially in the 1960s and 70s, the two ran alongside each other and often crossed paths.