As society becomes increasingly mediated through visual forms, the designer’s role becomes clearly much more than that of visualizer, but also of interpreter and influencer. Critical design writing and history further weaves practice into the greater sphere of politics and culture. From here, the designer generates new contexts with the potential to orchestrate and navigate change.
No longer the specialized and largely static single point of traditional visual design, contemporary graphic designers must instead grow accustomed to working in a way that is supremely multi-media, immersive and user-centered. As these changes have come upon the field much faster than its educational system has responded to sufficiently, the chaotic middle at present can be both one of unlimited opportunity and placeless anxiety. To adjust one’s practice so as to not only wade, but excel, a certain degree of unlearning and re-calibration must first take place.
Following Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby’s call for designers to “develop a parallel design activity that questions and challenges industrial agendas … to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry, and the public,” Aaron’s work has become far less concerned with illustrating the known. We cannot change the past, and in many cases even the immediate now, but, as designers, we have the ability to shape what comes next, and to improve what comes in-between.