Designers and Observation Practices
Photographic notation and the publication test (Instagram and beyond)

The designer, like the artist or the scientist, is trained in a specific practice: use of the notebook to make brief annotations listing aspects of the environment that catch his or her attention. At the other end of the production line, images, of which he/she is not necessarily the author, will ensure the diffusion of the completed project and will be disseminated as widely as possible. From the nineteenth century onwards, the practice of photography gradually enriched these two stages. Today designers are major users of the sharing platform Instagram. If on-the-fly photographic practice, the snapshot, and recordings are facilitated, unsurprisingly, by the development of digital techniques, it should be noted that the massive publication of these images on a network such as Instagram may change the status and certain parameters of the realisation of their images by designers. Via description of a certain relationship between the designers and the images of observations initially made “for themselves” and now rendered public, the authors trace these processes, including their editorialisation and publication.

Extrait du feed Instagram du compte jaspermorrison, du 13 janvier au 15 février 2017.

Catherine Geel teaches design history at ENSA-Nancy, ENS Paris-Saclay and Sciences Po Paris. She is the director of the “Problemata” research project (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Saclay, Huma-num CNRS) and a member of the advisory committee of the journal Raddar. Her publications include Les Grands Textes du Design (Le Regard, 2019), Extended French Theory and the Design Field. On Nature and Ecology (T&P Publishing, 2019) and Alessandro Mendini. Écrits. Architecture, design et projets (Les presses du réel, 2014).

Citation: Catherine Geel, « Designers et pratiques d’observation. La notation photographique à l’épreuve de la publication (via et au-delà d’Instagram) », Transbordeur. Photographie histoire société, no. 5, 2021, pp. 18-29.

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