Exploring design on the fourth plinth

Photo of Dr David Heap

A Staffordshire University lecturer will present his interactive design project to the nation next week – when he takes his place on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

On Friday September 18 at 10.00pm, Dr David Heap will present his hatelovedesign - 61 design dichotomies project as part of Anthony Gormley’s One&Other exhibition.

David, who is a Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies for Design, is one of 2400 people randomly selected to spend an hour on the plinth.

He said: “As a design theorist I’m constantly intrigued by why some designs are loved and others hated and what are the essential qualities in some designs that make them desirable, valued and eventually indispensable, and in other designs that make them uninteresting, unappealing and ignored?”

The presentation will be based on the hatelovedesign submissions to a website David has set up.

“I’m inviting people to visit www.hatelovedesign.com and submit the designs they hate and those they love and include reasons for both. 60 design hate/loves will be chosen and put on to individual posters and verbally read out and displayed on the plinth”. The 61st hatelovedesign will be David’s own.

The posters will include the names of those who are chosen as a way of giving another 60 people an opportunity to be involved in the One&Other exhibition.

All the suggestions received will be saved on the website with credits to those who submitted them in the hope that the design community will use the information on the site to help better understand what it is about certain designs that make people hate or love them.

Following the presentation on the plinth, it is intended that the hatelovedesign website will become an educational tool at Staffordshire University where students will also be asked to submit their hatelovedesign suggestions. The design information from the website will eventually form the basis for lectures, seminars and workshops for design students.

Furthermore, the posters that are presented on the plinth will be turned into an exhibition that will first be shown at Staffordshire University and then hopefully move on to other design institutions.

David added: “Anthony Gormley has likened the One&Other project to a ‘snapshot’ of contemporary British culture; my idea is to capture and present a snapshot of design and the British people”.


Maria Scrivens
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