A week of being the "anti designer" is over...

I am on an anti consumpsion bent, too many ding dong’s in their mc mansions, dual hummer or suburban equiped, with “designer” this that and a third thing for my taste. Fashoin for status sake, not style but disposable fashion that when its “old” is tossed out. Top hat, bever skin hats, ostrich feathers, what ever you have to admit fashion is about disposable and i am not buying it any more.

Too much of what WE design, yes WE us ID folks just ends up in the land fill after 1-2-3 years and its our JOB to come up with more crap to fill that pipeline. In some respects we are like the guys who cook meth, we can say “if we don’t do it somebody else will” but in the end the addict (shoppin in this case) gets their fix and for a week or 2 are happy, till the next urge hits.

This controversial to say the least, but if somebody dont say it we are all just sitting around patting each other on our backs and saying “wow cool turnip twaddler, when is the digital one comming out?”. We say we want to design responsible products, but most of us due to pressures cant or wont. Ok this week of being the asshole who raises the red flag and calls bullshit is over, you may now go back to your regulary scheduled rut.


I totally agree. We can try to change the way it works from the inside out, but it doesn’t usually work. We can just keep trying until it eventually happens though. Keep fighting the good fight!

I read this on Yankodesign today and thought it fitted well with what your saying zippy.

"With green being the new black, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and claiming they are environmentally friendly. But what is actually being done here?

Well…executives are high fiving each other for masking their planet plundering ways with carbon credits, designers are trying to figure out how they are supposed to help the environment by making more stuff, and every year McDonald’s hosts a nation wide ‘clean-up’ day where volunteers pick up the companies rubbish from the landscape"

Zippy: You aren’t the first designer to feel that way, and you won’t be the last.

I’m hoping that they current affairs in China will have an effect on this.

China’s really cheap, but too cheap, and so ridiculous unresolved crap gets produced.

I think it could be the real turning force that makes green/eco/sustainable/whateveryoucallit design a standard as products become manufactured closer to home.

Become produced closer to home? do you think manufacturing is moving towards making things closer to home? I swear I just heard that the UK doesn’t manufacture anything anymore.

I think for every design award, there should be an “anti” award. Too many designers think there’s no such thing as bad design as long as it looks good.

lol, we could do it like the one rachel whiteread won the same year she won the turner prize, we could threaten that they either accept it or we burn the cash prize on the steps of the moma.

Manufacturing in the UK: Aren’t Doc Martens made in the UK? There is also a wooden steering wheel company, I have the link at home. Caterham, Morgan, Jag, Honda all have plants in the UK for assembly. 80% of F1 cars are made in the UK around Silverstone. That’s just the stuff I hear of in America.

China: I hope that manufacturing stays cheap, I don’t care where. I think that design has boomed because of low manufacturing prices. I’m worried that design might be the first thing cut to offset manufacturing costs rising.

mr-914 is probably right, I don’t know where I got that from so I can’t fact check it. I remember being in the car, ordering a couple whoppers from burgerking in minnetonka by the kmart. I think we were listening to bbc radio on sirius and they said something about that right as I was pulling up to the window. But leave it to me to remember all of those wierd details and not the actual story.

methinks the gentleman doth protest too much…so i suppose then you are giving away your boat and masserati? feel free to send them this way.


This is from a few years back, but very applicable – James Dyson’s speech for the Dimbleby Lecture in 2005:

Briefly, it argues that the manufacturing of physical goods is still important, even for developed economies, and points to some examples of high-end manufacturing in the UK to make his point. Some of it’s a bit contentious but an excellent read nonetheless.

note both are old and loving cared for the boat is a 1977 sailboat btw. I live in a 1200 sf house that is 30 years old and have a daily driver 1990 hundai.

Looks like others bet me to it… It’s not that much isn’t manufactured here anymore, it’s that most priorities are obviously shifted towards ‘manufacture for as cheap as possible, sell at what the most I can possibly get for it!’. A lot of my clients go for Far East production, a few will go towards getting tooling done there (obviously tooling is one hell of a downpayment) but then use the tooling in UK manufacturing facilities.

Saying the UK doesn’t manufacture ‘anything’ is a bit extreme. But yeah, we may see a little step up over the next 12 months.

Yeah R, not sure that was the best argument in this case, being that those things are items which were kept around for awhile, and may have been used / older at the time of purchase even ???

This discussion has brought up several thoughts in my head,

  • Success failure ratio of products
    One may to measure true success may be to see how long a) a design stays out in the marketplace due to continued consumer demand b) how long a particular item lives in the consumers home and / or subsequent home before being completely discarded… maybe a better more thoughtful way, but you get the drift
    How do we maximize maximize success and minimize failure? - (hopefully not more focus groups, but that has been the marketing gold standard for this) Is it possible that it really does take (atleast close to) as many failures as we are currently seeing to produce good “succesful” product under current socioeconomic constructs? Is there a way we could make it illegal (or atleast very difficult) to produce a hula chair (or whatever that thing is called) based on the probability of its success. What type of of negative implications (cause I’m sure there will be MANY) would this type of thinking have on the market and our profession?

…hopefully this makes sense, and I won’t regret it later, just an off the cuff ramble after a bad lunch.

Sounds like you’re walking the talk. All are good examples of things built to last the test of time. …A forgotton concept in a society trained to value disposability.

both were bought used for cash, guess over time i learned that “paying on time” is a shure way to $ ruin if your a indi or and entrenpenur/designer.

all about the cash. My only debt is my house… and I’m paying on that like crazy. I lived through my parent’s bankruptcy, not fun.

Don’t the Catalyst Design Awards an attempt to counter this? I remember Ravi Sawhney talking about wanting to start these awards because he was so annoyed with the pretty pictures and commercial failures of the IDSA awards.

If not lets start our own, man I cant even remember when a id award winner made a profit (burdend) and I can remember a lot.