The Savage and the Designed : Robert Wilson and Vivienne Westwood as Artistic Managers

Abstract: This work deals with the management of systematized and collaborative artistic design processes, driven by an auteur. It is a critique of the dominant design management discourse as it identifies three critical issues in the discourse leading to a dilemma in the management of such a collaborative auteur-driven process, (i) a static and institutionalized concept of identity, (ii) a focus on a predetermined direction, (iii) a predominant employment of deterministic design methods. Instead, looking at Vivienne Westwood from the perspective of Robert Wilson, the work seizes qualities of the auteur-driven process that are overlooked in the traditional design management discourse. Such qualities are found through living-with, from the a-perspective of the creative process itself, requiring not only a fusion between designing and design managing, but moreover the adoption of this kind of union as a research methodology. From here, I propose a new design management discourse founded on a different kind of philosophy: a philosophy of intuition. This suggests that the management of a creative artistic process is essentially an intuitive and gestaltive problem rather than a traditional organizational one. It is less about organizing a determined course of events and more about the gestalting of spontaneous acts that in themselves provide the course of development without being neither finalistic nor deterministic. Furthermore, in order to maintain a direction through such paradoxical spontaneous acts, it is argued that the action of the intuitive calls for vigour and becomes a matter of faith in the direction of the gestalted. As such the work elaborates on the three concepts of faith, vigour and gestaltive as the main characteristics of an intuitive approach to artistic management as well as the managed itself: faith being its foundation, vigour its action and gestaltive its aesthetic.

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