Doing, Having Done, Doing Less, Doing Nothing

Otium and Negotium in Graphic Design and Art
  • Gianluca CamilliniEmail author
  • Jonathan Pierini
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)


Designing is something that is midway between doing and doing nothing, an activity that programmatically goes beyond the confines separating negotium and otium. It is a third way that constantly mediates between the practices of the two hemispheres, between the interior and the exterior, the personal and professional or public. Having done, doing less, or doing other, are all ways of inhabiting this confine. Starting from this short premise, this text focuses its attention on the multifaceted role of the designer, analysing all the above-mentioned ways of practicing it and which are found within the design and art context, in different historical periods and in different movements that tend to crop up in cycles and which frequently co-exist as stages in a journey that, in spite of numerous attempts at rationalization, are not fixed in a single method, once and for all.


Graphic design Visual communication Doing Doing nothing Otium and Negotium Design practice Design research Designer role 



The authors contributed in equal measure to the writing of this text.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Design and ArtFree University of BolzanoBolzanoItaly
  2. 2.ISIA Urbino, Istituto superiore per le industrie artisticheUrbinoItaly

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