Lifestyle - By MHM Contributing Staff on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 0 Comments
Selling The Future
Advice for designers in a post consumerism age.
In a timely article published in Core 77 Industrial Designer Robert Blinn discusses what went wrong in the economy at-large, and how design(ers) contributed to much of the consumer frenzy to purchase, well, stuff.
Blinn does a good job of tying together things many people wouldn’t otherwise think are interrelated – design, banking, wall street, economics, and consumerism.
The essay is well worth reading in whole, but here are a couple of sample quotes:
Any designer focused on producing useless doodads to be made in China, hawked to geriatric couch surfers on QVC, financed with second lien mortgages, denominated in a rapidly devaluing currency, propped up by the government of the underpaid Chinese workers who built it, should be rightly terrified.
Mortgage debt is no more sustainable than carbon debt, although they’re both caused by the same human foibles and governmental policies. You practice sustainability at work, but you’ve mortgaged your house to the max? Not sustainable. You eat free-range beef, but you’re loaded to the hilt with credit card debt? Not sustainable. You compost in your backyard but you commute an hour and a half to work as solo driver on congested highways? Not sustainable.
Perhaps the forty-hour work-week is just part of human nature, but any emphasis we can place on human effort, time and craft instead of tearing more raw materials out of the ground would do a world of good.
It seems that the answer, both professionally and politically, is that to conquer this economic meltdown designers and politicians should do anything but try to “fix” the economy using the tools we’re rapidly discovering don’t work.