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Rotterdam 2057

The Future Will Be History

K. M. Mientjes, M. Mulder, R. Teeuwen (editors)

This project is the outcome of a collaboration among 60 students in Graphic Design, which has culminated in a book publication (Willem de Kooning Academy in collaboration with Jong & Goed, 2011) and an accompanying three-day interactive exhibition at BLAAK10 Gallery & Store (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). It is an edited volume with 36 distinct contributions, each presenting a unique vision of the future of the city of Rotterdam in the year 2057. Contributions are organised by the scale of visionary concern, so to speak: (i) they engage with Rotterdam as a microcosm representing the world at large, (ii) they engage with Rotterdam as a city, urban or metropolitan area, and (iii) they engage with Rotterdam from a perspective of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions. A keyword index is included to enable readers to navigate these contributions. While the entire index is presented on a single spread, corresponding marks are also printed on the book's fore-edge (fanned). The 22nd section is a satire titled ‘The Wonderful World of Choicemania’. The primary focus of this section is on the critical human and psychological implications of technological change. Drawing from recent ideas and developments in the fields of psychology and game theory – including B. Schwartz's influential book on The Paradox of Choice (2005) – some of the psychological and social implications of the availability of too much choice are considered, in particular the relation between choice, self-identity management, and autonomy. It is a satire that envelops the reader in a circular argument through a series of six consecutively visualised and illustrated statements guiding the reader through a decision-making process. As pamphlets, they may be cut out and put up next to one another in the form of a circle. It is a decision aid designed to facilitate reasoned decision making. The satire is a critique on the ideological construct that promotes the belief in the idea that more choice fundamentally equals more freedom. Yet the ability of individuals to make rational and strategic decisions is highly limited for various reasons. Various design elements are used to this end to point out inherent conflicts between the availability of too much choice and the illusion of self-identity management. For example, to what extent can one craft, invent, or assemble – rather than inherit – an identity of the self? Two colour schemes are used and intertwined, making visual references to social media on the one hand (blue, white, Internet colours), and to critiques of conspicuous consumption on the other hand (red, yellow, supermarket colours). Both modes of consumption become increasingly entangled in the wonderful world of choice.



Kind Assignment; Hardback; Paperback
Instructor K. M. Mientjes; M. Mulder; R. Teeuwen
Designer M. van Bachum; E. Harmsen; F. N. van der Vlist
Contributor M. van Bachum; F. Bakker; B. F. Bennett; C. Bijdevaate; M. Blokland; L. Bollenbach; H. Boon; C. Boot; M. Braams; M. de Bruijn; M. Cremers; B. van Diepen; S. Dominguez; J. Galand; J. Godyla; R. de Groot; T. Hölscher; F. Hahne; E. Harmsen; P. Hartkoorn; M. Józefczak; T. de Jong; W. de Kam; R. A. Kim; R. de Kok; S. Lachleb; S. Lee; C. van Leeuwen; J. de Longh; C. Lonis; M. Maltha; M. Meekels; T. Meeus; K. Mertens; S. Mittelberg; W. Mooijman; G. Mourot; D. Nuijen; B. Planken; A. de Ricou; C. Schoenmaker; D. Smith; K. Smith; S. Snoep; R. Speel; A. G. Starr; M. Straatman; P. Szalayc; J. Vallet; L. van Veluw; M. Verweij; Y. Vlassak; F. N. van der Vlist; J. Voorneveld; D. R. de Vries; S. de Vries; M. Wilmink; Y. Ye; D. van der Zee; M. van Zomeren
Author (section) F. N. van der Vlist
Designer (section) F. N. van der Vlist
Publication Date 2011, May 12
Pages 528
Institution Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences)
Printer Jong & Goed (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Binder Boekbinderij Rietveld (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)