Here is the abstract:
When director George Romero introduced the modern conception of the zombie in 1968, he created an enduring metaphor depicting the societal impact of rampant conspicuous consumption. His allegory for the consumer is a mindless empty shell connected to its fellow man only by its incessant need to be satiated by living brain tissue. The zombie ingeniously represents the demise of free thought and critical analysis in society. Romero shows the horrors of humanity as well as the isolation and banality of our existence in a corporate-driven world. How does the designer relate to the zombie? We design the pretty packages to hold the brains. We are DeZombies.
Communication Design in the university curriculum is taught within a closed system, which stands in opposition to the very nature of the designer’s purpose. Our current pedagogical model limits intellectual growth by discriminating against socio-economic access, perpetuating culturally-biased aesthetics, doggedly enforcing prescribed outcomes, and defining a career path that creates objects and ideas that help improve the common “good” only through exorbitant consumerism without asking if whether the end product is in the best interest of humanity.
This article will argue that Communication Design curricula must evolve to support a more flexible system in which problem solving moves beyond pre-defined deliverables to one that attempts to solve wicked problems. This new system must allow for diverse cultural influences and open access to more socio-economic classes. Discussions about the ethics of working with particular clients and the impact of the final product on our environment should be mandatory. The curriculum should also encourage open dialogues about who designers should serve beyond the corporate oligarchy and how the design practice can support an inclusive manifestation of design as a social practice.
We have to re-design design or wait for that crushing blow to the head
You can read the entire paper here.