The performance consisted of a lecture about design, with questions about learning, what we learn and how we learn, a slideshow of design objects, and a self-conscious description of my anxieties about teaching, authority, and corporatized academia. As an educator, I think a lot about the responsibility of teaching. What does it mean to teach? What does it mean to perform this role? What does it mean to engage with thoughts and ideas in an institutional setting? What is the value of a learning in a classroom? What are the problematics? In my own specific role as an educator—how do professionalized makers perpetuate ideologies? I actually sincerely believe that designers must be at the forefront of cultural change, but I feel the context within which I discuss this with young designers is compromised.
At the culmination of the performance everyone sang the ABC song, while marching in place in unison. It was fun; and yet, there is something both disturbing and compelling about marching. It left me contemplating, particularly in our current fascist-leaning world, that the human inclination to be a part of something, to share, to feel collective energy, is powerful, but not necessarily in the service of good.