A design turn: on post-truth society and the use of design

Keywords: Culture; Design; Communication; Information; Social Responsibility.


In a world with deliberate distortion of the reality to create and shape public opinion and influence social attitudes, objective facts, and logical arguments are losing to emotions and personal beliefs. This post-truth world abides by the rules of volatility, fluctuation, and surplus value that in turn, condemn some aspects of the referentiality of language to the law of obsolescence. It is imperative to conduct how this process affects design, and uncover whether it plays a vital part since, to some extent, design involves the cultivation of emotions in the development of solutions. Literature shows that insincerity exists in the design and advertising industry and the fact that the world works in the way that we design it. Therefore, designers must uphold their social responsibility to create a better world. It is shown that emotions are critical drivers of the designs. Also, it is demonstrated that design is a public language that settles objectives, interests, instruments, and affections held individuals to create political competence and dialogue.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Mei-Hsin Chen, University of Navarra

Dr. Mei-Hsin Chen is currently Adjunct Professor in Applied Management, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and School of Architecture at University of Navarra, Spain. She received her PhD and MA in Art History from the same university. She was Associate Professor at National Taipei University of Fine Arts and in College of Design at Shih-Chien University, Taiwan. Her recent research deals with, but not limited to, Spanish Contemporary art and its relationships with East Asian aesthetics. She has also published several academic articles and books related to the aesthetic of design.


Achkasova, V. A., Zhuravleva, N. N., Trefilova, E. A., & Azarova, L. V. (2019). Propaganda Content in Digital Space: Identification Makers. In S. Shaposhnikov & L. Sharakhina (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE Communication Strategies in Digital Society Seminar (2019 ComSDS), (pp. 88-92). Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”.

Angileri, V. (n.d.). Artists are talking politics with pranks, appropriation, and guerrilla tactics. Folch Insights. https://www.folchstudio.com/insights/arjon-dunnewind/

Arendt, H. (1985). Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought. Viking.

Benkler, Y. (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press.

Benkler, Y., Faris, R., Roberts, H., & Zuckerman, E. (2017, March 3). Study: Breibart-Led Right Right-Wing Media Ecosystem Altered Broder Media Agenga. Columbia Journalism Review. https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php

Berardi, F. B. (2017). Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility. Verso.

Bird, A. (2018). Thomas Kuhn. In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/thomas-kuhn/

Bowden, R. (1999). What Is Wrong with and Art Forgery?: An Anthropological Perspective. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 57(3), 333-343. https://doi.org/10.2307/432198

Bratton, B. H. (2014, March). The Black Stack. E-Flux, (53). https://www.e-flux.com/journal/53/59883/the-black-stack/

Brecht, B. & Bently, E. (1961). On Chinese Acting. The Tulane Drama Review, 1(6), 130-136. https://doi.org/10.2307/1125011

Cadwalladr, C. (2018, March 18). ‘I Made Steve Bannon’s Psychological Warfare Tool’: Meet the Data War Whistleblower. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-faceook-nix-bannon-trump

Cornell, L. & Halter, E. (Eds).(2015). Mass Effect: Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture. The MIT Press.

Davis, J. L. & Jurgenson, N. (2014). Context Collapse Theorizing Context Collusions and Collisions. Information, Communication and Society, 17(4), 476-485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2014.888458

Dumez, H. & Jeunemaitre, A. (2010). Michel Callon, Michel Foucault and the ‘Dispositif’: When Economics Fails to Be Performative: A Case Study. Le Libellio d’AEGIS, 6(4), 27-37. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00546736

Dunnink, H. (2019, February 27). How to Design a Crowdfunding Campaign on Your Own Terms – and Break World Records along the Way. Medium. https://medium.com/@haralddunnink/how-to-design-a-crowdfunding-campaign-on-your-own-terms-and-break-world-records-along-the-way-41abe3f86f8e

Foster, H. (2003). Design and Crimes: and Other Diatribes. Verso.

Greimas, A. J., Collins, F., & Perron, P. (1989). The Veridiction Contract. New Literary History, 3(20), 651-660. https://doi.org/10.2307/469359

Groys, B. (2003). The Other Gaze: Russian Unofficial Art’s View of the Soviet World. In A. Erjavec (Ed.), Postmodernism and Postsocialism Condition, (pp. 55-89). University of California Press.

Groys, B. (2012). Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of Media (C. Strathausen, Trans.). Columbia University Press.

Harsin, J. (2015). Regimes of Postruth, Postpolitics, and Attention Economies. Communication, Culture and Critics, 2(8), 327-333.

Harsin, J. (2018, December 20). Post-truth and critical communication. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.757.

Jagodzinski, J. (2016). Boris Groy’s Post-Capitalist Scenario. In H. Feldner, F. Vighi, & S. Zizek (Eds.), States of Crisis and Post-Capitalist Scenarios, (pp. 241-255). Routledge.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press.

Jovic, M. & Art Acacia Gallery (2018, July 2). Art and Technology: How to Use Blockchain to Authenticate Art? Medium. https://cutt.ly/PXxS5j4

Katz, Y. & Shifman, L. (2017). Making Sense? The Structure and Meanings of Digital Memetic Nonsense. Information, Communication, and Society, 20(6), 825-842. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1291702

Kuhn, T. (1977). The Essential Tension. University of Chicago Press.

Lambert-Beatty, C. (2009). Make-Believe: Parafiction and Plausibility, October, 129, 51-84. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40368563

Momkai. (n.d). De Correspondent. https://cutt.ly/cXxDeBP

Monteiro, M. (2019). Ruined by Design: How Design Destroyed the World, and How Can We Do to Fixt It. Mule Design.

Morita, A., Reingold, E. M., & Shimomura, M. (1986). Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony. E. P. Dutton.

Negropontes, N. (1995). Being Digital. Knopf.

Orphanides, K. G. (2018, March 23). Children’s YouTube Is Still Churning Out Blood, Suicide and Cannibalism. Wired. https://cutt.ly/LXxDuYG

Papanek, V. (1971). Design for the Real World. Pantheon Books.

Quaranta, D. (2013). Beyond New Media Art. Link Editions.

Reingold, S. (2019). Fake News – Fake Truth [Exhibition], curated by Svetlana Reingold. The Haifa Museums of Art, Haifa, Israel. https://cutt.ly/VXxDaIp

Rogers, S. (2018, July 30). A Review of ‘Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online’. AACE Review. https://cutt.ly/lXxDfnS

Schwartz, O. (2019, July 4). Could ‘Fake Text’ Be the Next Global Political Threat? The Guardian. https://cutt.ly/nXxDk7H

Sculley, J. & Byrne, J. (1987). Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple. HarperCollins.

Staltz, A. (2017, October 30). The Web Began Dying in 2014, Here’s How. Stalz.com. https://staltz.com/the-web-began-dying-in-2014-heres-how.html

Studium Generale Rietveld Academie (2013, January 2). Groys, Boris: We Are the Time: Art Lives in the Age of Global Transition [Video file]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/BuMeizpFdVc

Ubermorgen. (n.d.). Voteaution. https://www.vote-auction.net/

Verbeek, P. (2016). Toward a Theory of Technological Mediation: A Program for Postphenomenological Research. In J. K. B. O. Friis & R. C. Crease (Eds.), Technoscience and Postphenomenology: The Manhattan Papers, (pp. 189-204). Lexington Books.

Villa, D. (Ed.). (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Hannah Arendt. Cambridge University Press.

Zuckerman, E. (2014). New Media, New Civics?. Policy and Internet, 6(2), 151-168.

Zuckerman, E. (2015). Rewire: digital cosmopolitans in the age of connection. Langara College.

How to Cite
Chen, M.-H. (2022). A design turn: on post-truth society and the use of design. Religación. Revista De Ciencias Sociales Y Humanidades, 7(33), e210946. https://doi.org/10.46652/rgn.v7i33.946