What is the value of opinion? Or a disagreement? Design forums overflow with both but range in length, proximity, quality, and legitimacy. The passage of time between responses and publication time gets shorter and shorter as the forums become more digitized.
The swarm of opinions about this Print issue roll through page after page: the issue was weak, it’s about porn not sex, it went too far, it didn’t go far enough, the boss banned it from the office, why can’t there be more of this, our society isn’t ready for it, this should’ve been done years ago, designers have no place discussing this.
A controversy that happened nearly two decades ago — such as this one — may not seem relevant today. Opinions change over time. What remains the same, however, is the subject under discussion in its time and place. Words exist in the archives. The chatter surrounding this issue of Print, for example, won’t appear in design history books and probably won’t come up in most studio classes. Observation and perspective — and social chatter — are central to one of the most foundational aspects of design practice: the critique.