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Author(s): Robert Špaček
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Historický ústav SAV, v. v. i.
Keywords: design; word; term; meaning; discussion; content; definition; education

Summary/Abstract: The text is a reaction to the excessively broad conception of the topic encapsulated in the slogan “everything is design and design is everything” in the degree program 2.2.6 Design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak University of Technology. At the present moment, the idea of “dizajn” has come rushing down through our vocabulary here in Slovakia with the force of an avalanche. Originally, it made its appearance through the assumption of the word’s original English form, design, most often preceded with the word “industrial” (priemyselný). Within the former federal Czechoslovakia, the idea received institutional backing in such designations as IPD – “Institut průmyslového designu” [Industrial Design Institute], the journal Průmyslový design [Industrial Design] and the like. Indicating its domestication within the Slovak language is the later transcription according to Slovak phonetic rules into the current “dizajn”, used as a masculine substantive, with the adjective expanded as “dizajnérsky”. Nonetheless, while English expands the grammatical range further into the realm of the verb “to design”, we in Slovakia still “tvarujeme, navrhujeme, tvoríme” [i.e. form, propose, create]. Equally noteworthy is the development of design as a concept, its semantic fixation being described in the Slovak setting through the works and studies of a variety of authors (Ľudovít Petránsky, Zdeno Kolesár, Bohdan Malanjuk et al.) In this original use, the idea of design implied the creation of elements intended for industrial mass production.From the outset, neither the meaning nor the word posed too many problems. As of December 1986, Ministry of education of the Slovak socialist republic began the systematic implementation of university programs in industrial design through establishing working groups: creation of individual custom-made structural elements was assigned to architecture, while the creation of elements intended for mass production in set quantities was viewed as “design”. During this period, the conceptual model followed was the German practice termed “industrielle Formgebung”. As the idea made its way into professional usage in Slovakia, discussion focused on its necessity and foundations, along with a search for a domestic linguistic terminology – priemyselné tvarovanie, priemyselné navrhovanie, and the like. In the decades to follow, the situation changed dramatically: the idea became fashionable and exclusive, particularly in the very word’s shift back to the original Anglicism of “design”. The general content and sense of the concept of design still remains close to the primary formulation: the shaping or forming of practically anything. Recently, we have witnessed the phenomenon of “design hotels” where not a single item of furnishings or interior surfaces is standardised, but instead “designed”. Design is no longer restricted merely to industrial mass production: now it is enough to propose, formulate, create one unique...

  • Issue Year: 45/2011
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 104 - 113
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Slovak