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You Will Not Be

January 2019 - present | with Social Design, Design Academy Eindhoven | Broken Nature Exhibition, Dutch Pavilion, XXII Triennale Milano

As we further integrate ourselves into the 24/7-rhythm of the times, we seek ways to optimize our bodies and minds to align with the demands of the market through a dizzying array of apps, technologies and gadgets. The Social Design masters department at the Design Academy Eindhoven sought to interrogate the canvas of these new economies, capturing the destructive nature and internalized narratives of self-optimization and hyper-productivity. Through this research, we aimed to understand the ways in which these modern dynamics have come to influence not only the shape of design practice today but the very character of our day-to-day existence.

Taking the directives of the digital economy to its most extreme, we mapped onto our bodies its repetitive commands, gestures, and anxieties, desperately trying to achieve the promises of happiness and self-fulfillment locked within. This performative research reflects not only how narratives of self-optimization and hyper-productivity shape design practice today, but also how these are in fact turning our day-to-day activities into nothing short of a performance. The self on its own becomes an enterprise which must be optimized; instead of technology serving as an extension of our bodies, our bodies become an extension of the smartphone itself.

i see that i see what you don’t see- graphism by Rudy Guedj, 2019