Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Who is the Designer Artist?: Re-examining the Role of the Designer as Autonmous Content Generator and Political Activist

Prof. Scott Groeniger.

The role of the Designer needs to be re-examined as we head into the 21st. Century. No longer is the designer simply creating in servitude to the language of established, well-defined, global advertising structures; rather, the designer is now beginning to emerge as an autonomous artist and content generator. This new role of the Designer / Artist can be seen as a by-product of an evolved symbiotic relationship between humans and machine culture. The tools of the designer are the same tools of the artist. Designer equals Artist...there is no difference. The same process of personal expression as artist is also a necessary and fundamental basis in the process of design. Digital files and new typographic structures are becoming part of the language of this new form of artist. As a result, there is a new zeitgeist finally beginning to emerge among designers and it is a uniquely personal, highly conceptual, aesthetically challenging, and often political point of view. The role of the designer in the fabric of global culture is ubiquitous and unavoidable; from the organization of language and symbols in physical public space, to the printed instructional design pamphlets of airline crash procedures, to three-point typographic medication warnings on the labels of pill bottles. The choices an artist and designer make influence thought and challenge traditional power structures. The digital revolution in art and design has changed the way designers and artists work, think, and produce visual metaphors. The computer has made it possible to mass-produce provocative works of art in a myriad of media. It is the responsibility of designers and artists to be socially aware of these nuances and continue to challenge current global political and aesthetic standards.


Prof. Scott Groeniger  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Department of Art
Florida State Universtiy

Scott Groeniger is a visual artist currently living in Tallahassee, Florida. He teaches in the Graphic Design area at Florida State University and is currently researching the changing role of the artist in a technology driven media rich society in the 21st century.

  • Art, Design
  • Social Constructs
  • Political Responsibility

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)