Recently, I was watching the documentary Helvetica, which led to a question I thought would be more relevantly saved for this unit of the course. During one of the interviews, a designer stated that there was an increase in design of all sorts following World War II. Her assertion was that – in a time following great destruction – it was the impulse of designers to seek to actively create new cultural contexts for understanding in their own efforts to rebuild the world, as well as a sense of cultural identity. Certainly, I can see the relevance in that – in telecomm, we talk about the responsiveness of films and other media to current events and cultural underpinnings. However, based on the focus of this particular documentary, it was just reference to designing an art piece, like an avant garde film, but to the whole world of design – functional tools, fonts, styles, etc. I’m not really sure I consider myself a designer – at least, not in the context the film seemed to be indicating – so I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the role of major cultural events in shaping how designers design, and/or, conversely, the role of designers in changing the face of cultural contexts and identities at major points in history through design.

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