Visual Identity Politics and Remix Society

1. Introduction

‘#0 — On Classification’ is the first research project of the larger and ongoing design research on visual identity politics in the age of cultural diversity, that is called ‘Post-What?!?’. In this section you can read about the design research project which was conceptualised, developed and executed during my MA-study (2014-2016) at Master Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy, University of Applied Science in Rotterdam. Master Design is a two-year part time study for design professionals that focusses on design research and new design practices.

This article describes the design research itself and reflects on the process of creating a research method that can be used within a design (research) practice. This article supports the visual analyses, dialogues and mappings, which are the design results of this research.

‘#0 — On Classification’ focusses on mechanisms of human classification, which means the socio-political system of organizing people into groups. This research project explores the diverse, intricate and delicate ways the identity of social groups is constructed and how this construct is used as a political tool to define people and cast them into groups. Who makes these groups and how are they made? What are the parameters for typing? Which mechanism of division are used? And with which effects? Which strategies are used and by whom? And what are the consequences of the classification for the way individuals in a social group are perceived in media and in real life? When does typing become stereotyping? And how can these stereotypes be contested?

The topics and questions above are at the core of this design research. We believe that this design research gives some answers to these questions. Moreover, it hopefully sparks the discussion on the role of classification in the 21st century.