IN RESPONSE to Cg:
It’s quite ironic that you bring up Papanek. Yes I have read his books (unfortunately, I was one of few of my classmates that did), and I also express a similar sense of disgust, regret and hope for the field of ID.
It is quite surprising to several of my collegues that I even chose to teach this children’s course due to the mixed feelings I hold towards this profession. They fear that I am promoting a career opportunity to these inner-city youth, that in the past I have outwardly challenged. But, it is important to question the establishments that you have submitted to, even if just for the sake of naiveity and/or curiosity. But also, we are devoting our lives and careers to it… I think it is worth examining the varied opportunities and range of opinions of those opportunities that lie before us. (Does that make any sense?)
‘This challenge’ has probably even more so enlivened my sense of enthusiasm (and optimism) about the possibilities and potential of the field of ID, even while many of you (with years more of experience than myself) seem to have lost hope and given in to a system you have no faith in.
IN RESPONSE to Realistic:
Beautiful. I thank you for spending the time to articulate your thoughts and experiences so eloquently.
A few phrases worth highlighting:
product design was not just a generic word for anything decorative but a > rigorous, systematic, highly creative endeavour with the noble goal of translating technology for the common good first, and industry’s bottom line a clear second. > We only hoped that more and more firms would actually link profit and responsible design that made products safer, easier and more practical and enjoyable to use.
My main lament is not so much the current pathetic and convoluted state of affairs, but more the realization that > nowhere, no one is doing anything to change all this. > That would mean the bureaucratic inertia of design academia, “professional” bodies and industry have contaminated us to the point of paralysis as many of us respond robotically to client demands for fear of retribution in a slow job market. If being an industrial designer has finally come to strictly holding down a job, you all should stop whining about being misunderstood out there. > You reap what you sow in life, and there are plenty of individuals ready to capitalize on ID’s lack of inside consensus and a strong voice.
ID is/was/could be…
the complete architecture of mass-produced goods, overseeing the different actors (specialists) involved to obtain a fully-resolved, consistent end result responding to the designer’s unified vision, creative intent and understanding of the situation at hand, not unlike the role of a film director.
Mk, maybe you’re better off just telling the impressionable kids we just draw up stuff for a living and hope someone buys it from us. No need to scare them off with all this.
Posing this question was not merely a search to find an answer for the kids. But also, I was looking for other designers that have actually stepped back to take a look at this field that they have committed to. Why do we do what we do? Do we even know what it is we are doing? It really is incredible how much power we have as Idesigners to impact the environment and society (locally, nationally and internationally) on issues ranging from the products of our intimate daily routines to ‘invisible’ systems that have infilitrated millions of lives.
Do designers think about these issues? Some do of course. But as discussed in many of these postings, many/most ID bottomlines do not seem to consider anything beyond the effort to feed this cycle of consumerism. That cycle being- consume and consume some more (ignorant or aware of the repercussions) whether that be from the perspective of the client, designer or consumer. Just put something out there, anything. And repeat.
It is sick.
Realistic, I look forward to your future post in which you share some of your ideas of the numerous opportunities that lay before us. (And I hope others will tune in too).
Peace to all.
Talk about optimism!
The unfortunate truth:
Today in IRAQ: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3932123.stm
Today in SUDAN: BBC News - Q&A: Sudan's Darfur conflict
But I suppose we can be hopeful… change will come.