UNMASK: Digital Thinking with Brutalism


Session Title:

  • Politics of Sentience: Activism and Labor

Presentation Title:

  • UNMASK: Digital Thinking with Brutalism



  • Brutalism originally rose to popularity in architecture as a response to excessive ornament, and lack of clarity in the function of buildings. Inspired by the modernists it took on many of the aspects, but stripped away any obfuscation of the functionality of the building. In recent years this design theory has been brought back for use in the field of web design, for the same purpose of removing obfuscation of function. The application also created pages that are more accessible to both those with disabilities, and those in developing countries, where connectivity is limited. This expansion of these theories suggests their potential to be adopted in further areas, such as the creation of interactive art pieces, and installations.

    Through examination of brutalist design theories in architecture, their adaptation into web design, and borrowing from the process of speculative design, a brutalist methodology was created. This methodology was simultaneously created alongside and applied to an interactive installation. The two established brutalism as a useful method of constant justification of any content or additions to a project or artwork. It encourages the creator to think about what is important, and needed for the project over what is expected.