Ideas and thinking about design preferences will get exposure later this month on a unique and provocative stage. On Friday 18th September 2009 at 10.00pm David Heap will present his hatelovedesign - 61 design dichotomies project on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square as part of Anthony Gormley’s One&Other exhibition.
Dr Heap, who is a Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies for Design at Staffordshire University in Stoke on Trent, is one of 2400 people randomly selected to spend an hour on the plinth. In his 60 minutes Heap will present his hatelovedesign project which explores people’s design hates and design loves. Heap says the project is a natural extension of his work at the university, “as a design theorist I’m constantly intrigued by why some designs are loved and others hated”, he continues, “what are the essential qualities in some designs that make them desirable, valued and eventually indispensable, and in other designs that make them uninteresting, unappealing and ignored?”
The presentation will be based on the hatelovedesign submissions to a website Heap has set up. “I’m inviting people to visit www.hatelovedesign.com and submit the designs they hate and those they love and include reasons for both. 60 design hate/loves will be chosen and put on to individual posters and verbally read out and displayed on the plinth”.
The posters will include the names of those who are chosen; Heap sees this as a way of giving another 60 people an opportunity to be involved in the One&Other exhibition.
Activity on the website will not end with the presentation; all the suggestions received will be saved on the website with credits to those who submitted them. It is hoped the design community will use the information on the site to help better understand what it is about certain designs that make people hate or love them.
After the presentation on the plinth the hatelovedesign website will become an educational tool at Staffordshire University where students will be asked to submit their hatelovedesign suggestions. The design information from the website will eventually form the basis for lectures, seminars and workshops for design students. Furthermore, the posters that are presented on the plinth will be turned into an exhibition that will first be shown at Staffordshire University and then hopefully move on to other design institutions.
Heap says, ”Anthony Gormley has likened the One&Other project to a ‘snapshot’ of contemporary British culture; my idea is to capture and present a snapshot of design and the British people”.
For those wondering, the 61st hatelovedesign will be Heap’s own.