September 1, 2010
DESIGN, TRUTH, and KNOWLEDGE AS AUTHORITY
Grudin, Robert, Design and Truth (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2010) ("There is, finally, the relationship between design and truth. Because our designs convey solid meaning, and because they interface between us and the world, they must tell us the truth about the world and tell the world the truth about us. A well-designed hoe speaks the truth to the ground that it breaks and, conversely, tells us the truth about the ground. The same can be said about any product of invention, be it mechanical, like a car, or intellectual, like a speech. Good design enables honest and effective engagement with the world. Poor design is symptomatic either of inadequate insight or of a fraudulent and exploitative strategy of production. If good design tells the truth, poor design tells a lie, a lie usually related, in one way or another, to the getting or abusing of power." Id. at 8. "In a knowledge-based economy, respect must be awarded to the knowledgeable, no matter what their level of seniority. This presupposes a management structure flexible enough to let a junior colleague set the agenda if he or she carries moral authority on the day's topic." Id. at 159.).