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The Institutionalisation of Design

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The Institutionalisation of Design


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With the emergence of the Autonomous Designer, the institutionalisation of design training became a matter of course. Design patrons like de Medici gathered around them a stable of increasingly famed designers, and Academies began to emerge for the transmission of design knowledge. Their existence was supported by the influx of huge amounts of gold from the Americas - the cost of the many fine Renaissance palaces and churches paid for by the blood of Indigenous peoples in Mexico, Peru, Columbia, Bolivia etc. This was what gave capitalism its critical power and energy. The Church was a major beneficiary of this wealth and dispensed it to the emerging design community. However, control over design costs and design form became an imperative for the Church, leading to increased competition between designers. Michelangelo's increasing seclusion and alienation from public life was one result of these tensions.

This was all exacerbated by the Reformation and the emerging battle of ideologies and styles between the Church and the Reformists as Church architecture became increasingly regulated, still and propagandist.

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