Design is the essential weapon. With blades of applied creativity and a grip of informed decisions it defends us from the incessant assault of uncritical contentment. It is the edge that ensures we never settle on what we know or what is comfortable. It demands us to see the overlooked and look at the unseen because in the fading nuance of perspective and opinion is lurking the enemy! Satisfaction!
For those defeated designers who say “there’s too much stuff, we should design nothing” I say, shame on you. How can any able-minded designer sit on their hands and forfeit to the way things are?! We are not here to invent for the sake of inventing, we are here as an accomplice to the unknown, to escape the impending doom of ‘business as usual’. We design to survive.
And while there can be dire consequences of designs that are bad, design itself is a resilient practice. It is a practice where tinkering, manipulation, and disruption are good words, meant positively. It is a practice of endless improvement and openness to change. It is never finished or complacent (if it is, sleep on it, and when you come back in a day or a year, you’ll see opportunity!). And while it may not be inherently good, design is a practice that allows us to constantly strive to be better.
Brandished poorly, our efforts will result in frivolous, careless design riddled in inconsistencies at best and arbitrariness at worst. When mastered, design can create that which is uncompromised in its impact on our world, unconfined of a social strata, and unconditional in its goodness of aesthetic.
The responsibility to wield this weapon falls to the designers and consumers who must prevent themselves from imposing their unfettered, self-serving partisanship on design, the products it creates, the people that create them, and the planet in which they are created.
The loudest thing we can say is “Enough is Enough.”
Enough waste, enough exploitation, enough externalities.
It is time to cast off antiquated, self-satisfied design and scream at the top of our lungs that that is “Enough”.
There is too much beauty and genius in this world to be thinking or practicing otherwise.