Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Solutions, Problems or Just Plain Wind-Baggery.

I found an article and link at Apartment Therapy that lead me to this Time to Rethink Design report.

* see end of post for comment.

The aforementioned report addresses the issue of this over-designed culture we live in. It discusses at length that design has stopped functioning as a problem-solver but more as a problem-maker in our novelty obsessed world. And I agree. Design for design's sake was never the plan but in our goods-ravenous culture, that became the mantra.

After reading this piece, I was reminded of the First things First Manifesto and it's predecessor the 1964 Design Manifesto of the same name. We have been whining and bemoaning our consumer culture for a long-ass time now. And frankly, it seems like a lot of self-righteous wind-baggery to me.

First things first. The Time to Rethink Design report is just waaaaaaay too long and rambling. Let me sum it up for you. We have a problem, there's pollution, excess, waste, and destruction. Design is a big contributor. We need to rethink things.

Well...duh! Does anyone not know this? Look online. Tons of groups out there trying to make a difference. The proliferation and success of Etsy alone is really all the proof I need. People are recognizing and doing and changing. And of course it's a bit slow but it is happening. A cultural shift is taking place. Albeit slowly, but that's how these things go.

I guess I'm just one of those who has little patience for those self-important individuals who feel the need bark from their soapboxes. Especially those who point fingers, whine, and complain but offer little in the way of solution or progress.

Unless you've been living under a rock, [And if you have, even better! You're carbon footprint is WAY smaller than those of us in fancy air-conditioned homes] you are well aware of the depleted state of the world today and it's resources.

Take for example Apartment Therapy, Dwell, Martha Stewart. All big names in the Interior Design world. They all focus on sustainable, recyclable, DIY, and invention. And these guys are no small potatoes. Readership is up! Change is here, it's just slower than many of us would like to see. So what do we do?

We support those groups that are making a difference and an effort. We shop mindfully and re-use inventively. If we're working in a field where we create, we can take lessons from those already walking the walk. Essentially, we do the best we can with the tools we have. And find strength in the community and those around us that are seeking to do the same. And we can gain force by communicating, educating, sharing and inspiring.

We don't need condemning, ranting, and quibbling. Solutions will and are coming from those of us choosing to live our lives mindfully, respectfully and compassionately. 

So what do you guys think? Did you read the article? Do you agree, disagree or just have something to say? I would love to hear what's on your minds.

*Sorry could these d-bags be any more self-righteous? Your pathfinder into the future? C'mon!

All the above pics are obviously from the Time to Rethink Design brief.

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