Ironic, or Kitsch?

Attempting to do some research for an essay (which I’ll write properly about once I hate it enough for a full page whine, right now it’s a mild annoyance), and something is becoming increasingly unclear to me. What’s the difference between ironic and kitsch design?

“Kitsch” gets thrown at us a lot in PDT, you get sick of hearing it pretty quickly, that and “ellipse”. It is generally considered a very very very bad thing, unless, as in the case of my speaker concept, you are designing for 4-year-olds.

Google Definitions:

Kitsch -Art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but appreciated in an ironic way.

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Irony – The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Though if you ask anybody what either means they will mumble for a while before giving up and telling you “I know what it is but I can’t explain”

What I can gather is that something can be kitsch purely by being tasteless and sort of hard to look at, whereas to be deemed ironic something has to be cleverer than that. Like this Swiss Door Wedge by Andrew Stafford.

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Get It? That’s not the type of wedge you’re supposed to use to hold a door open. How I laughed.

Kitsch design is Ironic, in that design is expected to be aesthetically pleasing, but Ironic design is not necessarily Kitsch. There’s still a very blurred line between the two in my eyes, and by the looks of things whether or not something is clever or tacky seems to be subjective. So next time you see something violently garish, play my new little game Ironic, or Kitsch? (It’s going to be big in playgrounds everywhere)

Relevant article I’m too lazy to discuss properly.

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