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Evil design?

Is there such a thing as evil design? I was intrigued by the question and really curious. Can design be evil?


If there is good design there must be or at least could be evil design right!? But if there is such a thing, what is evil design and what does it mean?

The whole thing kicked off by an exhibition I went to see last week in Gothenburg, at Röhrska museet.
The Evil Design exhibition started a couple of weeks ago and it is really worth a visit. It raises some really important questions about design, fashion, history and our consumption in the western world.

I’ve given this subject some thought over the last week and I believe that the design itself can’t be evil, when you take the item out of its context, it looses it place and becomes just a design. But when you link the design to history or a purpose invented to harm others in a physical or psychological way it becomes evil and sinister.

But does that make the design evil? I guess it depends on how you look at it. I believe it’s only when we associate a certain design with something, – a feeling, a person or history – that we can fully take the design in and then make our mind up in what category we put the design in, for example “the evil design category”…

The exhibitions purpose is to broaden our concept of design and what responsibilities we have as consumers, designers and citizens. Go and see everyone, I believe you will all be a bit wiser, which isn’t a bad thing!

Andy Warhol’s Electric chair (Screen print)

Clear conscience?

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