With the rise of postmodernism in the mid-1990s many designers, critics, and design thinkers began to question the discourse on the notion of subjectivity in graphic design. Many advocated for a practice of design authorship by deploying a range of strategies that inserted a certain subjectivity—the designer’s voice—into their work. These included collaborating with clients, self-generated projects, and exploring ideas through critical thinking by asking open ended questions of artifacts.
For my thesis, I seek to investigate design authorship through experimentation with different forms of books. By looking at the role of the designer in the Arts and Crafts movement, Modernism, and the notion of designer as author from Postmodernism to the present time, my process begins with a series of questions. What is the relation of the medium to content? My reflection on these questions led me to develop a series of methods such as collecting raw materials, generating content through photo taking and found texts, and create forms I implemented in my experiments. The findings aim to rethink the role of a graphic designer beyond that of problem solver, to designer as author, and hence a critical thinker.