A long time ago in a studio far, far away… It’s a period of war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have elevated their thinking to theoretically debate the logic of design. The battlefield is taking place in the Galactic Empire of Empathy which has been traditionally dominated by the manipulative Darth Bernays. There are changes in the force and new order is coming.
In the beginning the Galaxy was divided and citizens wander through the stars with inferior products. An unknown traveler from Planet Vienna appeared one day. He proclaimed certain brands and products to be the best and claimed the Empire of Empathy to be his own. For years he ruled unchallenged. Darth Bernays ideas’ of public opinion being malleable and vulnerable to manipulation were view as some of the most prolific ideas in mass consumption ever. As of recent his empathy has come under question and citizens have revolted against the idea of being manipulated into consumption. For too long has his control of public opinion misled consumers to the ultimate Sith Lord’s pleasure.
Oddly enough, challengers have been coming from all different parts of the Galaxy and even close to the Sith Lords home. One in particular would be Darth Papanek.
Papanek in the last year has been released from the Brotherhood of Darkness. Although he keeps the Darth title, Papanek can now be found on the steps of the republic shouting “We’ve lost a sense of depth and understanding”. To many he is seen as a crazy nonsensical hobo that sleeps on the streets and bites at industrial designers that stupidly stumble by. Only Darth Bernays can recognize that Darth Papanek’s slip into insanity is a sign that his era of control is on the verge of a great shift. At night it is rumored that Darth Papanek constructs bonfires to burn all the phallic objects around the capital and is troubled by nightmares of “sexed up” objects.
Jedi Buchanan is the Rebel leader and the biggest threat to the Dark Side. His concepts of wicked problems and the art of experimental thinking have caused waves in the Galaxy. Citizens are beginning to rally behind his war cries of repositioning of old ideas in new positions. The galaxy is proclaiming that this is what true empathy is and the neoteric arts are the way of the future. It is rumored that Buchanan power source from long meditative smoke breaks and speaks directly to the late Qui-Gon John Dewy. Currently, the Jedi released a Triangle of Doom upon the Dark Side that utilizes usefulness, usability, and desirableness in a product.
The power struggle of these opposing forces has provoked many to stand on one side or the other except for bounty hunter Maurizio “Boba” Vitta. His stance seems to be more on the side of the Jedi and actions seem to be more with the Sith. Vitta has been known to be the closest a designer can get to nihilism without becoming Nietzsche. Constantly being caught spray painting “Cultural Significance” or “Ambiguous Mist” on the side of the Death Star or visiting space ships. Vitta’s no bullshit approach to calling a product a form of communication and taunting designers with threats of fragility and flimsiness keeps everyone on their toes.
Die hard Jedi Allan Chochinov’s fixation on sustainability easily puts him as one of the founders of the Jedi takeover of the Empathy Empire. His focus on cradle to the grave design and systems before artifacts are what help formulate the wicked problems for Jedi Buchanan. Together they are a force that will challenge the philosophy of the Sith and try to bring back empathy in the hands of the Jedi.