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Contemporary Bias

Designing Meaning | Projects

  • A chess set that through the specific design of the pieces addresses issues of media involvement in the political process and how we perceive the world in our own media bubble. Each piece in its own way makes a statement about how some part of democracy functions and how that affects our involvement in the changing political environment.
    The king is symbolized by a fountain pen is a symbol that represents involvement of media in changing the way that we see the world and how that affects our government. The queen, the most powerful piece on the chess board, holds a true symbol of American freedom the fire of the statue of liberty, which represents freedom of speech as both an important cornerstone of our democracy and as a powerful tool the media can use to hide behind. The “resist” fist, used for the Bishop, is a symbol of civil rights movements and the involvement of emotion in clouding our ability to see our own inherent bias that prevents us from seeing things impartially. This fits the role of the bishop in chess as a highly powerful piece that is also limited, as it is unable to reach half the squares. The Knight's hood of anonymity is important in the way in which represents the way people whose identity identities are not known can shift the entire way our democracy functions, most notably as of late is the influence that unknown people had on the 2016 presidential election. The satellite dish, used for the Rook, symbolizes the way a symbol of technology has enabled enabling the rapid changes in our political system and the cold emptiness the fortress of our own political echo chambers allow. The pawn an anthropomorphized version of the classic pawn shows the common citizen’s involvement in our political system and how we are manipulated by forces other than our government to influence how we are led. This is displayed through by the lack of power the pawn has in the game and the control the king(the media) has over all the pieces.
    Throughout the design meaning studio, there were we learned three main design lessons that we learned that we used as the basis for the original concepts of the chess set. First, the importance of a simple design language that utilizes symbolism that can be universally understood by all audiences. Second, the importance of craft to connect the idea of an object, with the final form through confident execution of its construction. Third, the importance of designing related objects to share some common feature that allows them to be understood and a signal a cohesive thesis and be readily understood.