So answering Auger’s pressing question — “What is this obsession with class systems?” —, well: we are obsessed with class systems because we can’t help it. Because, in contrast to most of the practitioners in the field of SCD, we do not have the privilege of not thinking about issues of race, class and gender. Because your dystopia is happening to us, right now. It’s happening when we get harassed because of our gender, our class or our ethnicity. It’s happening when a brazilian citizen is killed by british police with no explanation, apology or reason other than being a foreigner. It’s happening because where we come from, the reality suggested by The Republic of Salivation isn’t so far-fetched. And because if we don’t call out your privilege — though you dismiss it as “misguided suggestions of privilege” — this is what will keep on happening: SCD will never evolve past a discipline stuck in its own little universe of weather forecasts and smart fridges, incapable of seeing how shallow its own speculations are, and how much more relevant and inclusive they could be.
I include this system in this paper because I see some important issues addressed: Bredel clarifies the role of the marks we use today. From a designer’s point of view it is important to know how elements are used to design them. When we are familiar with the functions of the characters we are designing we can respect those functions. The elements for the processing part, for example, should be designed clearly and have enough spacing around them to support their purpose. The elements of scanning, on the other hand, are lighter in form and can be designed accordingly.
Instead of interrogating that hopelessness, accepting that we discounted how scary progress can be for people, and confronting issues that are hard to understand and threatening, I’m listening to designers talk about how they’re donating the profits for their designer shirts and designer spoons to legitimately important progressive organizations because that is the only way designers know how to connect with other people: by buying and selling shit. And surprise, it’s useless and ineffectual but it’s okay because it landed you a sweet interview in FastCo Design.