The state of things is very serious. The water is rising, the ice is melting, the forests are on fire, and the land is sinking. Every day is a new catastrophe, we’re rushing toward a precipice, we’re out of time, we’re out of luck, we screwed the pooch, dropped the ball, botched the delivery, broke the system, went hurtling down the road of good intention…In design, we’ve been trained to respond with solutions.
Throughout history mischief-makers have plagued the over-powerful, puncturing the smug assumptions of Fat Cats, Big Cheeses, and High Muck-a-Mucks. From Coyote to Anansi to Shakespeare’s fools, the trickster holds the trump card when the chips are down, the stakes are high, and the owner of the casino is the President of the United States. We posit the wicked pleasures of the trickster tale as an enticing alternative to dreary disaster-capitalist narratives, technocratic solutionism, and universalist fictions of Authority, Progress, Unity, and Truth. This issue of Lunch (13: Mischief) is a collection of articles, letters, manifestos, anti-manifestos, graphics, games and narratives that approach design more impishly than urgently, that uproot assumptions that solutions are the solution, that wiggle under the garden fence and leave the farmer with a fistful of fur – but no bunny.