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Smoke and 'Miros', Design and Magic

Alex Milton , Benjamin Hughes , Christiaan de Groot , Debbie Wythe

Magic is the essence of creativity; of action that operates outside the boundaries of plans, programs and exact- techniques. Following the launch of 'Design and Magic' (DTG, London), four of the contributing authors expand the idea that designers are failed magicians and magicians are failed designers. Magic in all its various guises is seen to present an infinite realm of possibilities for design, not least its link with a readymade meta- reality. The power of transformation that drives the creative practitioner is not dissimilar to the power of the alchemist in creating precious substances. Their rituals and tools might be different, but the effect is the same. Faced with the apparent contradictions of functionalist technology and magical product narratives, the paper seeks to demonstrate that design can re-engage with the emotional and poetic. It asks whether practitioners should pursue the notion of design as deception, fuelling a gluttony of material desire, or should they look to a higher order, where magic provides a holistic view, at least 180 degrees of which is not accounted for right now?


magic, design, Creativity