Funlab Masters Project: Obsessive Amateur

An unwritten rule for Designers is that they are put on this world to ‘Make...
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Design Academy Eindhoven: Obsessive Amateur lecture - September2004


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In 2004 the British artist, designer and educationist Alan Murray developed a workshop for one of the Masters of Design courses at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. As one of the guest teachers I presented one part of the Funlab Masters Project that Alan titled "Obsessive Amateur". Together with this text the "Obsessive Ameteur" lecture can be downloaded in the Slideshare 'Lecture' section.

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Design Academy Eindhoven: Obsessive Amateur lecture - September2004

  1. 1. Funlab Masters Project: Obsessive Amateur Why An unwritten rule for Designers is that they are put on this world to ‘Make the World a better place’. Unfortunately strategies to do this are too often connected to a corporate strategy of increased market share. Products are conceived and produced if they can be sold in enough numbers. Consequently the idea of professionalism is in fact that the designer knows what they have to produce, why they have to produce it and who they are producing it for. This can lead to a ‘brittle’ research and production domein. The ‘Obsessive Amateur’, on the other hand, often works in the dark. They are ‘Early Adoptors’ who can work with an alternative strucure of intuition, unbalance and extended time-frames. Their goals can be based on personal achievement through a selfish, subborn refusal to take the easiest or at least the most conventional route. Our great discoverers and scientist were often ‘Obsessive Amateurs’ who were determined, through sometimes surreal methodology, to find their solution. The rich vein of an ‘Underground Scene’ are the result of Obsessive Amateurs. The most successful Obsessive Amateurs pave-the-way for new professions. How We would like you to have 3 strategies for this project period. 1. Nurture an Amateur Obsession. What you choose and how you pursue it should lead to a deeper understanding of an ‘alternative methodology’. The story of the obsession should be told in objects and images. This part does not have to directly lead to a design proposal. 2. Make a 2,000 word illustrated booklet on the subject of ‘Amateur versus Professional’. 3. Develop a design proposal which has a connection to Obsessive Amateur. You should make new tools to facilitate, create or challenge Obsessive Amateurs. This part of the project should be explained through an exhibition. With Alan Murray – guest curator Funlab: Debra Solomon – guest lecturer: Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby – guest lecturers: Koert van Mensvoort – guest lecturer: Ronald van Tienhoven – guest lecturer