Design Anarchy is a theory, a point in history, a book and a politically driven reaction to consumer culture. Many designers (*cough* stern modernists *cough*) react to Design Anarchy as an affront to them personally, to design, what they've been taught or other ideals. The common thread seems to be "...avoid design anarchy at all costs.." (I read that today in a book)
Design Anarchy (the book) calls on graphic designers, illustrators and others to turn from working in service to corporate and political pollution of both the planet and "the mental environment", and to embrace a radical new aesthetic devoted to social and environmental responsibility.
Mashup Culture is really nothing new, collage and re-interpretation of the sign to create new sign is nothing new. What is relatively new is the abundance of mass mediated images, flickering, permeating and penetrating our minds before we go to sleep at night. There is a lack of critical awareness and myth decoding being taught in our school system (surprise surprise) I am constantly amazed on a daily basis just how spongy we are - or how one thinks the news is real - or why we reveal our personal information to get a free whatever. Simulacra is what is real, our realities are hyper and there are a new set of rules in play. We are living in an age of complexity.
Design seems to be at a crucial point where ethics should be considered above everything.
Again I go back to my concept of 3rd space - where design and art combine. It may be called 'design activism' or 'design anarchy' 'design of dissent' or even more broadly 'design for social change' but we must realise that these spaces can only exist with malleable or (is it even possible) no filters. (I'm talking about Chomskys 'filters' in terms of propaganda model here) ((The theory posits that the way in which news is structured (through advertising, media ownership, government sourcing and others) creates an inherent conflict of interest which acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.))
We cannot be ignorant to the truth that 99% of design exists within the propaganda model. Just sayin'. So fighting against this wave takes courage, passion and dedication. Most of all it takes empathy, and that requires love.