For anyone familiar with the frustrations of getting their home tech in order, the image of a demolished digital printer in a so-called anger room might trigger a reaction from outright glee to existential gloom and foreboding. Trump mannequins are also a popular choice for pounding, but the common printer remains a favourite for those who want to vent their rage in a "safe" environment. So it is easy to understand why British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn gave the printer pride of place in the "useless design" category during her lecture at Design Indaba in Cape Town last week. Whip-chic in her customary tailored attire and sharp as a sniper in the delivery of her talk, Rawsthorn painted a bleak picture of what she considered the design failures of our times. "Very little design is good, the majority is mediocre or downright bad," she declared. "Bad design matters because of the terrible consequences that may result." Rawsthorn’s list of design crimes included the "omino...

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