camp: (noun) 1a : something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing This version of the play is camp: outrageous in concept and wild in its execution with double entendres flying every which way.

b : a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture a movie that celebrates camp”


“Camp.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

In “Today’s Design Grads Are More Woke Than Ever–and It’s Looking Great,” Emily Gosling quotes Kayley Kemple as saying :

“It would be a creative space in Dublin for women to educate themselves on different topics—perhaps a talk on [Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp], or looking at campiness in hip-hop,” she says. “There’s all these rappers who actually embody a lot of things that are really exaggerated or over the top that could be seen as ‘camp’ [by Sontag’s definitions]. Then alongside that I’d want to explore it as a space for things like journaling and art therapy. It would just be so cool to have somewhere for women to go and draw together, and just to relax.”

In other words, Kemple wants a space for people–women specifically–to come together to talk about different topics relevant to the the work they do. She gives as an example talking about a well known essay, “Notes on Camp,” by Susan Sontag, and shows how the ideas about camp, something over-the-top in its design or expression, can help them talk about a more contemporary example, hip-hop, as it becomes part of their work, interests, art, etc.

This is an important word to understand because it relates to art and design, and because it gives us the reference to the Sontag essay that would help us learn more about camp and how to talk about it, think about it, use it in our writing and designing.

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