Between Critical and Industrial Design. A Designer’s View

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis


  • Vytautas Gečas



critical design, industrial design, contemporary design, function, consumerism


The text discusses industrial and critical design, the points of their intersection and separation. These two fields of design basically cover the same context of building things, but they play different roles. Supplementing one another, in contemporary design they become two sides representing different value orientations. Due to different design methods applied, they often become closed in their specific practices. The creative methods of critical design often correlate with the contemporary art field. Without taking it into account, it is difficult to interpret new methods in the framework of traditional design. In the meantime, industrial design practice most often meets the needs of the commercial market or production capacities, but not necessarily those of design itself or the consumer. This article analyses how these practices were formed historically, how they are different, and how they are interrelated.

Does good design merely satisfy the physical needs of an individual for a lesser price, is it based on a designer’s aim to rethink the surrounding objects over and over again? In my opinion, generally speaking, both indus- trial and critical design practices critically, though differently, respond to the environment and its factors, and the designer’s role is not limited to the de- sign of objects, but is also based on the observation of the environment which produces the need for a new object. In order to justify the appearance of new objects and to compete in the highly-developed commercial context, an object must contain an element of transformation/change, which becomes both an added value in the economic context, and a circumstance creating a wider potential of that object.

Author Biography

Vytautas Gečas

Vytautas Gečas is a designer of objects. He graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in product design and the Design Academy Eindhoven with a master’s degree in contextual design. The designer has been participating in exhibitions since 2012. Mentor at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and the Vilnius College of Design. Member of the Lithuanian Design Council. Works in the field of conceptual design. Playing with the context and the perception of the subject, he employs complexity, fragmentation, layering, and mixed references. Gečas is currently studying for a PhD in design at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. His design objects are presented in international exhibitions, and he also curates various contemporary design exhibitions in Lithuania.

Vytautas Gečas, Marija Puipaitė, „Romance & Gravity“, 2020. Fotografija / Photo by: Darius Petrulaitis

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How to Cite

Gečas, V. (2021). Between Critical and Industrial Design. A Designer’s View: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (103), 219–251.



Artistic Research