What's the point? July 25, 2022 09:48
What's the point of all of the effort that you as a designer put into making products?
To make things quite nice?
To make them fashionable so that they sell easily?
To make life easier for people using the products?
To make them good for the planet?
To express yourself?
If you're going to bother to design and produce something make sure that its something you're proud of. Something that you want to leave behind, - you're leaving evidence of your life. So what would you be proud to create?
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?
For me: quality and fairness -
By quality I mean lasting, useful products. The reason for believing in quality is in order to work against waste (If you have a quality item it is something that doesn't break easily and which works well, - therefore doesn't get thrown away. I want to also give the feeling to the people using the items that they have something which has been considered, and which is worth keeping and which will last without frustration and breaking. There is a part of this which expresses sincerity from the designers and the makers of the product: 'I want you to use something which works and which you can rely on!' 'I wasn't lying when I persuaded you to buy this, it really does work!'
Why fairness? Simply because without it we become lost in greed and don't have a good way to communicate with each other, exchange with each other, enjoy living amongst other beings. Our lives don't work without fairness. Fairness to people making the product, to people using the product and to animals and plants, land and air coming into contact with the product. Make production socially fair and make sure that the product doesn't do harm to our environment. Yikes. So what does that mean? For me here's a start: Not using too much material; not using material which damages the planet; not producing things which break and have to be replaced; not using too much delivery; using recycled materials whenever possible; using low tech production if possible; producing fewer, long-lasting products rather than multiple throw-away products, using production techniques which encourage low volume production rather than high volume (low tooling costs as high tooling costs necessitate high quantities of production in order to get that tooling money back).
There are a lot of 'too much' phrases there and the levels to set them at can be confusing, so I'd like to see a rule book somewhere for production which we all have to stick to. As a simple start we could say that an electrical product should last 50 years (instead of the 1-5 years that is probably currently a general industrial aim). We could say that furniture should last at least 50 years, but maybe more than 100 years. I think it'd be handy to study the possibility of these. We could have clean energy and materials available ( and ONLY clean energy and materials available) for producing products, in order to erase the mousse of confusion about how to produce fairly. We could recycle much much more - my lovely friend Jo suggested that we continue production using plastic but just une ONE sort of plastic which is recyclable and ONE colour and ALL OF IT gets recycled, - easy!
So, WHAT'S THE POINT of all of the effort we put into things if not to communicate with others? None. To me the point is just to leave a thing which embodies a good message. Something which, without destruction, helps daily life practically (for body or mind) therefore helps a human social exchange and helps us all to feel worthwhile.