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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Modes of Criticism #5 – Design Systems

December 13, 2019

VCFA MFA in Graphic Design faculty member Ian Lynam has a new essay called “Anything With A Shape Cannot Be Broken” in Modes of Criticism no. 5. The theme for the issue is “Design Systems”. The essay explores the imperialist suprematist ideologies behind pre-WW2 Mingei crafts of Japan and how those ideologies are linked to culturally suprematist ideologies lurking beneath the seemingly anonymously designed surfaces of MUJI products.

The essay also explores links between fascism in both European and Japanese Modernism, implicitly/explicitly exploring how “less is more” and “problem-solving” are the rhetoric of genocide. One can obtain a copy of MOC5 here: