The Bigger Picture

Papanek understood design as a System and a process, rather than just individual objects.

Everything is connected — excessive consumption, environmental pollution, and social injustice. This view of the world, which in its complexity is more urgent today than ever, illustrates the profound influence Papanek’s most significant mentor, Richard Buckminster Fuller, had on him. Like Fuller,  apanek also believed in the functionality of the intelligent principles of construction found in nature.

Unlike Fuller, however, Papanek did not believe that technology was the solution to the world’s problems, even publishing a book called »How Things Don’t Work« with James Hennessey in 1974. This section presents historical and contemporary works responding to challenges that are even more relevant today.