Veronique Vienne Interviews Kalle Lasn
Page 239-242

Artist Summary
Kalle Lasn’s documentaries have been broadcast on PBS, on CBS, and around the world. He is the publisher of Adbusters magazine and founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation and Powershift Advertising Agency. He has dedicated himself to launching social marketing campaigns like Buy Nothing Day and TV Turnoff Week.

In the interview Lasn argues against AIGA’s (LINK OUT) new code of ethics, proposing, instead the code of true cost design.
True Cost is defined as before starting a design, the designer has to consider the ecological and psychological consequences of what they do. The designer must plan to minimize the damage before maximizing the cool. (239)

Lasn also makes note of the psychological costs associated with design and marketing of products. He references the upwards trend of increased cases of “mental illness” over the last fifty years as being attributed to “mass-media culture” and thousands of marketing messages that the average person experiences in a single day. (240)

Lasn mentions the distinction between the two types of products. One is the product that is not interacted with, the other is the product that is interacted with on a daily basis. He argues that designers must pay more attention to the latter product for it’s constant, immortal, use. He warns to be wary that the true cost analysis must be beneficial to yield an acceptable result before any actual design work can begin.

Adbuster is geared toward greener, sustainable designs. It’s goals are to spread the word and inspire designers in eco-design, bio-mimicry(LINK OUT), psycho-design and codes of ethics.

Lasn advocates that designers can shape culture as it grows. That they can “carve out a soul for it beyond its current commercial masterbation” (242).