n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - g.o.d. and the deus ex machina of design

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



This article explores the way that design ought to be narrated and legitimated within the context of the South African design industry. Special attention is given to the presence of disavowal in the design process, when clients commission designers to effect change for them, yet second-guess, mistrust, and scrutinise the proposed design solutions. Our grappling with this problem is done with reference to Nelson and Stolterman's concept of the 'guarantor of design' org.o.d. and the contexts and considerations that affect how this g.o.d. is selected, constructed, and deployed. Both practical and ideological factors are negotiated as ways to understand these contexts and considerations, and, thereafter, the significance of empathy is highlighted as a means to tackle the various disjunctions that tend to arise in the scripting of the drama of design.

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