Designers & their politics

God is dog spelled backwards.

As for only supporting candidates, I find that a big problem in the US. The fact is that votes are predominantly along party lines. If one really wants to see the platform of a party be implemented, they need to be sure that party is in power. Thereby, if one isn’t happy with the choices, they should form a new party.

I learned this watching the parliamentary system, which is entirely party based. The US has a weird schizophrenic system that wants individuals elected, but still allows parties to exist. It’s very odd. I think the US should write a new constitution and go parliamentary or ban political parties. Interestingly, there are no political parties in the Canadian Inuit territory of Nunavut and they manage to get things done (albeit with a population of only 32,000).

Almost entirely :stuck_out_tongue:

I tend to vote for my regional member of parliament. When I changed ridings, my vote changed despite the same parties and similar prime minister candidates running because the best local candidate was a different party. I’d like to know that my direct link to the government is someone who will listen and represent the community’s interest rather than a party interest (which is how the system is intended to function). Unfortunately though people seem to vote for the PM rather than their MP and its become much more partisan recently. I’m curious as to whether that’s a human tendency or another example of american media spillover.

Maybe a good question to ask the design community is what the best political system is? and can we design a better one? :wink:

I’m all for proportional representation, even though it reduces peoples’ ability to vote for individual politicians. It’s great feeling when you have a charismatic leader who you can really get behind, but I’ll choose policy over personality any day. And there’s nothing worse than feeling like your vote is pointless if you’re dissimilar from your immediate neighbours. I also abhor strategic voting, which our Canadian first-past-the-post system encourages. I suppose it depends how you define “community”: whether you see this as consisting of your immediate neighbours in your local area, or whether you see it as consisting of people across the country who share your interests.

I find the Canadian presence in this discussion interesting, especially given that it’s election season down south. Could this be because American politics are more charged & partisan - a taboo topic at the American design family dinner table? (ie: “Can we discuss religion next” -nxakt)

Thanks to hipstomp’s 3D-printed gun article for demonstrating in the most obvious, cliched manner possible what I’m talking about. I’m sure the goal wasn’t a political rant, it’s just that certain views are taken for granted when you want to show you’re part of our educated elite(never mind the existence of “2nd Amendment liberals” like the late Alexander Cockburn,) even to find the idea merely surprising requires accepting much of the same ideology.

Jim, again, what are you talking about?

I read 18 comments under the article, presumably written by liberal educated elite as this is a design blog, and the vast majority had no problem with printing a “gun”. I have no problem with someone wanting to print a gun and I was certainly a part of what you claim is the liberal educated elite. One person, the author doesn’t like guns so that makes them an automatic member to this brainwashed club? I don’t like the color blue nor I do I care for broccoli. So what.

And why do you use elite and educated as a pejorative? Should people graduating college be low-class and stupid?

Good point. How has the word elite become such a derogatory term when used in context of class? Don’t we all strive to be elite in our field, and elite in life? I wouldn’t work so hard if I knew that being considers elite was looked down upon.

Completely agree, I was devastated when the Mixed Member Proportional referendum didn’t pass. Brilliant idea, terrible marketing. I had heard it was political move, but I’m not sure if I believe it, that’s what Elections Canada is supposed to be for.

It is entirely correct to say if your views lean more left; broken down the statement is an acknowledgement that everyone is special and that you shouldn’t pass judgement on someone purely because of their political views. I disagree with this somewhat, I try very hard not to pass judgement on people’s political views, but I will pass judgement on how they express them.

As an Independent Centrist I’ve had many respectful political conversations with Liberals and Conservatives, but as a media spectator (read, not consumer) I am aghast at how political sensationalism is being used to garner ratings by big media on both sides of the spectrum. There is no prime time cable news coverage in the U.S. anymore, when people get home from work on come the talking heads to fire people up.

As a designer, I find that the default concept of designers by non-designers is that we are artsy fartsy liberals. I work with people who assume my political views based solely on my chosen profession and attire, I also work with people who think I am a Mac fanboy based simply on my chosen profession, though I am multi-platform and build my own PC’s. Of course this is rooted in ignorance as those individuals’ last encounter with any kind of creative curriculum was finger painting in 2nd grade. I do find it frustrating sometimes, but I have found that taking an Independent Centrist political viewpoint enables me to agree with more good ideas on either side of the spectrum while at the same time discarding the bullshit openly without the fear that I am sacrificing principles dictated to me by a political party.

It’s kind of like dancing in traffic.

I completely agree. Most of us were all taught as a kid that if you work your ass off, are good at what you do strive to be the best, then you will succeed. So why is it that the ones of us that have should be looked down upon because of it now. Success has all of a sudden become a bad thing and frustrates the hell out of me.

As a designer, I find that the default concept of designers by non-designers is that we are artsy fartsy liberals. I work with people who assume my political views based solely on my chosen profession and attire

This was my exact point to the statement I made at the beginning of the thread. Thank you Greenman. I grew up in the south in a conservative household. Now do I still have all those beliefs and view today…some but not all. Did design school shape those? No. Moving to the northeast, traveling, marrying a woman not from the US, and many other things shaped them. However there are also still many that stick with me.


As for elites, it’s obvious that we shouldn’t listen to them. That elite Jonathan Ive has absolutely nothing to teach us about design. Meanwhile, there is a junior designer and a consultancy I work with that never puts tolerance between parts. I think I’ll ring him for insights on design and society.


I can relate, I also grew up in a conservative household and there were a lot of rules and strictness with a dash of “don’t embarrass the family” thrown in for good measure. My older brother went off to college studying business his freshman year because it was acceptable to our parents; when he declared as a liberal arts major his second year to study sculpture and photography our father damn near disowned him. 3 years later he would complete undergrad with honors and was accepted to Cranbrook for his masters which he paid for himself. Somehow “Industrial Design” was an acceptable choice for me because it was a B.S. degree through the engineering college, so I flew under the radar, heh.

I would say that school in general helped shape my views today simply because I was given a freedom and independence I’d never had. Combined with a creative curriculum I think I was really able to open my mind in an environment where it was acceptable and encouraged. I still hold on to a lot of the morals that I was raised with, but with a much greater acceptance of differences in others (unless they act like assholes).

So somewhere along the way I shook off a lot of the perceptions and die hard clinging-on of upbringing to make my own way to do what I wanted to do and the truth is that family usually gets over it. Conversely, an old high school buddy of mine, raised in a fiercely conservative (and arguably racist) household clung to his upbringing despite being very creatively talented musically, literally, and theatrically. None of those talents were deemed acceptable pursuits as a career according to his upbringing so he ditched them after high school, joined the army (which I respect), and then went into business administration. Maybe he enjoys it, I dunno, but from my perspective I see wasted talent. When I moved away to pursue my career he jealously resented me for it and pinned me as a hippie liberal hack; we no longer talk.

I’ve got friends like that, too. (Well, former friends)