I am not going to go into a full diatribe over why I am bringing this up as I spent an hour or so writing about it on my blog. You can get caught up here: http://www.aialone.com/pivot/entry.php?id=455
The short story is that I had bunch of small things happen this weekend that made me question the role Design plays in big issues like Global Warming.
Where is the line drawn with respect to design morality? We, as Designers, have lamented about how we generally work for someone else who is pulling the strings on the products we work on. We don’t control whether or not it is a “green” product or not.
One of the things I realized was that I don’t believe that humans are going to change their consuming habits unless they start to FEEL like what they are doing makes a difference. When I put a glass jar in the recycle bin there is no proof that that is delaying that glacier in Greenland from sliding into the Atlantic by a few miliseconds.
When it comes right down to it, if Al Gore is right with some of the stats he talks about in An Inconvenient Truth, Humans are going to have a LOT of water front property in the relatively near future. I don’t have enough faith in the human condition to change consuming habits.
I don’t have enough faith in the Corporate world to give a shit whether or not their product is “green” or not until there are some damn big ice cubes floating around our oceans causing some serious over watering of our lawns.
This isn’t me throwing up my hands in surrender. It’s me wondering what the hell can we, as Designers, do about this? What can we do to make the world FEEL that changing their habits will make a difference without something catastrophic occuring?
Think about it. You don’t feel any consequences when you pump 75 liters of fuel into your minivan. You don’t feel like you are doing damage to the planet by keeping that hall light on for your daughter because she is afraid of the dark. You don’t feel like sticking your spaghetti sauce jar in a blue box and leaving it on the curb is delaying an inevitable global catastrophic event.
We’re not going to stop people consuming. How can we change how we feel about the products we consume? How can we do this without asking people to alter their lifestyle?