Caio Braga, Fabricio Teixeira & Luciano Infanti have written an excellent article that explores design in new fictions – the invisible social contracts that we all accept and subscribe to without even thinking.
The article looks at the role design plays in what Steward Brand once described as pace layering – a set of different types of relationship layers, hierarchies & dynamic systems in our world.
These layers (such as Fashion/Art, Commerce, Infrastructure, Governance, Culture & Nature) have a cohesive relationship within society & move at different paces that affect and inform one another. Brand described these relationships as components within a system and each having different change-rates & different scales of size – informing how our world works today, is structured and also organised.
Braga, Teixeira, & Infanti explore the visual representation of Fictions (the aesthetic influences such as symbols, typography, colour, brand, etc) & where old merge with new ones through recent cultural shifts in technologies such as AI, new monetary & financial tools & uses and most recently the introduction of Web3 into the lexicon.
Blockchains, smart contracts, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, the metaverse, and NFTs are very much starting to introduce a new set of visual language, metaphors, interfaces & contexts that is important to take a moment to observe, understand and contextualise.
As old fictions start losing their place, space opens for new fictions to emerge in parallel. New narratives, new truths, and new worlds are being created.
It might seem that we have no control over this chaotic, contradictory, and overwhelming process. But we must remember that within this transformational period, there is space for new, positive changes. As designers, we have a small but important part to play by shaping symbols and its structures.
Our role & responsibilities as Designers is more important now than ever. ✋
The article is well worth a read.