Monday, September 25, 2006

Design's Velvet Rope

This article discusses the elitism of AGI, Alliance Graphique Internationale. After World War 2, when AGI started, it was the age of designers dressed in suits. Membership was regarded as a sign of the highest achievement in graphic design. At the time, AGI was one of, or the only, professional organizations in design.
Now there are tons of organizations. The article goes on to point out the impact AIGA has created and how AGI still exists, but seems to have faded from importance. “Does AGI still matter?” the author asks. You hear about it less and less. However, it still retains its elite standards. You have to be sponsored by a current member to become a new member. “ You cannot apply to become a member of AGI. If they think you’re made of the right stuff, the alliance approaches you”.
Since the aim of an organization should be to represent design’s interests and enhance public awareness; is an elite organization, like AGI, responding to those goals?
The author concludes that in the United States, AIGA, who accepts every designer, answers those goals better than an organization that puts elitism above everything.


Blogger marydorsey said...

I find "good ole boy" clubs like AGI only serve the elitist members themselves. Organizations such as the American AIGI seem more appropriate, usually providing good educational opportunities and support as well as marketing for the profession.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Professor Melis said...

Should we dictate what an organization "should" do? Is there, perhaps, a legitimate reason to have an exclusive good-ole-boys club? Some sense of prestige that's granted to its membership that they find lacking in their everyday lives? A way to cover for most people's ignorance of what makes good design? A noble effort to reward noble effort, or a way to shore up insecurity or none of the above? Why does the organization function the way it does?

8:05 PM  

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