“The primary (though not only) driver of Discursive Design is to express ideas.“
– Dr. Bruce M. Tharp.
The Indigestive Plate.
Many of designer Rafael Morgan‘s works can be classified in the category of ‘discursive design‘. Each one created to convey a ‘Provocative & Evocative message‘. And none do it better than the Indigestive Plate.
The Aim is to spread social-awareness among the rich & wealthy. Designer Rafael Morgan wishes to bring the attention of these well-off people to the harsh realities which, they probably know nothing about or simply choose to ignore it. Anyways, the Indigestive Plate(s) should get the job done.
Now, when we talk about the ‘object’ in the focus, there is nothing really new here, just a normal ceramic plate which we find in restaurants, hotels & even in our homes. But what makes this project so interesting is how a common & simple object such as a Plate can be a medium to spread awareness and influence change.
Know all about it as designer Rafael Morgan explains his extraordinary creation.
“Well, the Idea was sort of to use Design as a form of Protest, as something with social meaning.”
“Industrial design is usually very Superficial, it is mostly about vanity and cosmetics. And you know i live in Brazil, where there is quite a significant number of very poor people here, who have got very little to eat & the Social contrast is just immense. I mean, in some places there are luxury restaurants & stores juts a few blocks away from a ‘favela‘. And even though, most people have managed to ignore this situation. People have got used to it..” explains designer Rafael Morgan.
“So, the initial idea was to infiltrate the Plates in one of these restaurants filled with snob people”
“The plates look harmless at first. The message (social message) appears just after coming in contact with warm food. So, there is also the Surprise Factor, which is something that I myself consider very important in design. You have to catch people off-guard..” He says.
“Unfortunately, as you can imagine I couldn’t move forward with this Project. It is still a Concept & a Solid one in my opinion..” He adds.
The project gives birth to many vivid questions, & one of them being on the method being used in spreading awareness. This project, the Indigestive Plate, definitely shows us how even common products can be used as mediums to influence change, it definitely does ! But do we really need this way ? Do we really need to use such ‘forceful’ ways to confront people with truth ? Or things have actually gotten so bad (even out of hands) that these ways are necessary in order to deal & even solve problems of Hunger & Poverty..
Have they.. ?
You can find more of designer Rafael Morgan‘s work on his website.
Dr. Bruce M. Tharp writes about categorising Design into 4 fields, one of which being the Discursive design. (Read all about these 4 fields of design here.