back to e-flux.com

e-flux conversations

How To Kill People: A Problem of Design

I saw the future. It was empty.

A clean slate, flat, designed through and through.

In his 1963 film “How to Kill People” designer George Nelson argues that killing is a matter of design, next to fashion and homemaking. Nelson states that design is crucial in improving both the form and function of weapons. It deploys aesthetics to improve lethal technology.

An accelerated version of the design of killing recently went on trial in this city. Its old town was destroyed, expropriated, in parts eradicated. Young locals claiming autonomy started an insurgency. Massive state violence squashed it, claimed buildings, destroyed neighborhoods, strangled movement, hopes for devolution, secularism and equality. Other cities fared worse. Many are dead. Elsewhere, operations were still ongoing. No, this city is not in Syria. Not in Iraq either. Let’s call it the old town for now. Artifacts found in the area date back to the stone age.

Read the full article here.