What Design Can’t Do

What Design Can’t Do: Essays on Design and Disillusion

A witty, tongue-in-cheek discussion of design’s potentials and pitfalls

In focusing on creating preferable conditions, the discipline of design is optimistic by default. And yet, vernacular manifestations of skepticism, dissatisfaction and even resentment toward design abound.

Instead of systematically discarding them, can these "sad passions" shed a valuable light on the blind spots of the field? Can disillusion be something more than disillusionment? Can it become an emotional method to unveil design’s dysfunctions and contradictions?

Author Silvio Lorusso looks into historical and present manifestations of design disillusion to shorten the gap between expectations and reality when it comes to the everyday practice of designers.

Using humorous and irreverent visuals, often containing jokes about design, Lorusso constructs thoughtful dichotomies on such topics as synthesis and autonomy, power and impotence, and aspirations and compromise. The result is an amusing yet academic consideration of the design profession and its future.