Deviance: The Next Big Thing

By:
Toni M. Schuster
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Deviance in mainstream society typically implies a behavior that diverges from accepted norms. Deviations initiated and/or enacted by social sub-groups can give rise to negative connotations while deviant labels differentiate and stigmatize the people who do not conform to the cultural norms of a given social structure. In some cases, symbols and signs are re-contextualized--positioning a familiar image or object in relationship to images, symbols or texts with which it is not usually associated and thereby generating new meanings in a design, a piece of art or in a consumer artifact. Some images and objects that were once considered unconventional, unnatural, unorthodox, appalling, alarming, strange, weird, etc. have been re-contextualized and eventually interjected into society through advertising and mass marketing emerging into “The Next Big Thing”. If coming up with the next big thing is the goal of many companies, thinking “deviantly” (in a manner or framework that is unbounded by social and cognitive conventions), then “deviance” becomes a topic that is truly relevant to design research and education. An awareness of re-contextualization(s) could assist design majors as well as those individuals in other disciplines in their decision-making processes.

This morphing of re-contextualized labels and symbols has deep personal and broad social implications. Comprehending the possible social, cultural, political, economic, etc. ramifications resulting from the “morphing” of a deviant trend may, or may not influence visual and or other solution(s) however, recognition of the apparent intersection of social issues and the resulting “design” is a topic that this presentation will consider.


Keywords: Design, Culture, Difference, Ethics, Awareness, Knowledge
Stream: Aesthetics, Design, Knowledge, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Deviance


Toni M. Schuster

MFA Communication Design Graduate, School of Visual Arts, The University of North Texas
USA

As a practicing graphic designer for the last twenty-four years with experience working in and for studios, advertising agencies, major corporations, freelance and as a sole proprietor, I have been conceptually involved in the creative process and in the “results” of communication design. With a BFA in communications from the Rochester Institute of Technology and with the completion of my MFA in May 2006 from the University of North Texas, I aspire, as a future educator, to bring a multi-dimensional and a prosperous learning experience to the classroom as well as sharing both professional and personal realizations with audiences with diversified minds.

Ref: H06P0180