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Very simply, we are all connected. Everything is inter-dependent. We are all in this together.
What does this mean for design? Everything.
Most commonly we, as industrial designers, are charged with the task of designing products for consumption. These products drive economy, politics, culture, etc. and make up the built environment. We are given the task of creating the products that will make or break companies; that will shape industry and society.
So often, whether right or wrong, our products define individuals. In the United States especially, people are more often seen as what they own, rather than what they do. Everything from what car you drive, to the shirt you wear, to the cell phone you talk on – every product people purchase is a decision and is therefore an extension of themselves. Beyond creating functional solutions to problems, we design ways for people to express themselves. This is undoubtedly an important and worthwhile job. However, this cannot be the end.
In the same way that we are connected to the world through design economy and the business of design, we are also connected simply as people. We are a race, a species, a family. As designers, we must be the voice of people. There are many people in the world who have the ability to stand up on their own and who will voice their needs, but there are many more people who do not have a voice that will ever be heard in that sense. We must be their voice. We are called...
Posted April 30, 2008
By Carl Wilson
Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual DesignVotes (1)
Lucy + Jorge Orta's 'Antarctica' installation at Hangar Bicocca in Milan suggests a utopic realm or safe refuge without borders and the 'equitable distribution of resources' as a new view on 'true globalisation'. Given that the Antarctic contains 70% of the planet's fresh water reserves and is off limits to military activity, where else should we turn for ideas that might thaw our numbness and paralysis to date?
I thankfully spent Earth Day without a drop parachute or survival kit. Extremes abound on planet earth, but the edges are thankfully overlapping and softening like never before. There is unity as well in the colorful fabrics (flags) that flap in the breeze as emblems of what distinguish us.
Studio Orta: http://www.studio-orta.com/
Posted April 29, 2008
By Abigail Doan
Community, Environmental Design
Girls Go Green in Venice Beach, CA Come Along on Their Eco -Adventure !
Monica lives and works in bohemian Venice Beach which is known to be an artsy community at the beach and although it is in Los Angeles - it doesn't feel like it. Here we wear flip flops and go out casual. I surf and roller blade and because our toes are in the sand quite often, we tend to be aware of our environment. Monica is a member of Surfrider, Heal the Bay, Sierra Club, NRDC, USGBC and has greened such events as ABBOT KINNEY FEST and the USGBC Sustainable event downtown. The last thing for her to do was Green her 2 original 1940's bungalows where she runs her Eco-Friendly Production Company and Consulting firm - SYNERGY TV PRODUCTIONS (www.SynergyProductions.TV)
I guess you can say I like to live the communal life and have a small footprint! Being a greenie for 15 + years, I have always tried to do what I can to lessen my footprint and my tenants Mary and Leah are stoked to learn more. We make it a point to bike ride around our neighborhood, to the store, to visit friends and even to our local bars. We like to think of ourselves as conscious b/c we recycle, have an organic garden and carry our own sassy canvas re-usable canvas bags when we shop at the local FM (Farmer's Market). But one day I wanted to do more and decided it was great to have a Green Lifestyle but I wanted us to be in Green homes too! I Greened both of our small bungalow homes . CHECK OUT THE BEFORE - CONSTRUCTION AND AFTER PICS (...
Posted April 29, 2008
By Monica Ramone
Environment, Environmental Design
Ban the Plastic Bag for You and Your Pet!
My next rant is about plastic bags - they are not only made from oil and pollute our landscapes but they clog our oceans and streams!
As a member of Heal the Bay and Surfrider and an avid recycler, I cringe at the site of plastic bags! Every time I surf in Venice I pick 5 - 10 bags out of the ocean, tuck them in my wetsuit leg and bring them ashore. I tried to figure out how I could make a difference, I knew the huge corporate stores like Ralph's, Vons etc would not stop using plastic bags right away and it would take legislation which Heal the Bay is working on and I support.
I figured the best place to start immediately to educate the public would be in our Farmer's Markets. Here, the consumers care about what they eat, they want to know their grower and purchase organic healthy foods. So I came up with a concept that is helpful for everyone TAKE YOUR BAG TO MARKET! and stop what I call the "plastic habit!"
Being a TV Director by trade, I even created a short PSA in one day at my local VeniceFarmer's market interviewing organic family farmer Bob Polito on how the Farmer's market experience is so special, he gets to know his customers, and they get the better quality food than offered in grocery stores. He then starts to talk about the ban on bags in San Francisco and how he thinks it's time to do so in LA.
www.current.tv/watch/168090052 Overall, my feeling is that any shopper a...
Posted April 29, 2008
By Monica Ramone
Poverty, Communication Design
I am sure the majority of you will have seen and heard of Project M Design, founded by John Bielenberg, but I wanted to make sure the This is Not Grass publication was highlighted on Design21. What a fantastic project, that illustrates the real possibilities of Graphic Designers when they think socially, ethically and (initially) away from the computer.
"During the Summer of 2006, a small group of designers drove from the rural coast of Maine to the urban center of East Baltimore with one goal... to make a positive and significant impact on a blighted community. What they discovered when they arrived, was that they were in way over their heads. The social and political machines had been in motion long before they stepped into town and the scale of the problems were staggering. There seemed to be no hope and little they could do as designers to help a city stricken with such alarming poverty and hopelessness." - This is Not Grass.
Find out more about Project M and its designers:
Posted April 28, 2008
By Kate Andrews
Communication, Communication DesignVotes (1)
What's the most important role of design today?
Design is a big area to work in and there are many different sides, but I think there's definitely a cultural value to what we do. It's really important that design remembers how to put value into daily life. That's our goal. It's not just to make it more efficient or to make products that you can sell more of. Consumerism is not interesting. That's not the role of design. Design means thinking about sustainability and culture. We should be much more intelligent about how we build our world. I think too much of design is too dumb.
Posted April 27, 2008
By Kate Andrews
Arts & Culture, Communication DesignVotes (2)
The 'Re-drawing the Line' symposium will take place June 5 2008 at the London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, 10:30 – 17:30.
Re-drawing The Line is a one-day conference open to professional illustrators, designers, artists and creatives from related industries, as well as students, offering presentations, cross-disciplinary panel discussions and debate on contemporary topics and trends that are shaping the industry.
Main themes of discussion:
Applying labels: Categorising your professional practice With colleges increasingly taking a multi-disciplinary approach to the creative process, is the term ‘illustrator’ becoming a limiting description of your working practice? Are you proud to call yourself an ‘illustrator’? Is illustration enjoying the same status as say graphic design or fine art?
Emerging Markets: With illustration enjoying a resurgence in popularity and the digital revolution being the most important development in illustration over the past decade. What are the current trends shaping our industry and the new opportunities open to illustrators? How long is the current renaissance in illustration set to last?
Drawing the line: Addressing climate change & the ethical debate in illustration With sustainability and the eco-issue affecting all areas of our lives, what role are illustrators and graphic designers taking in addressing climate change? How will illustrators rise to the challenge? And, do illustrators need to adopt a more ...
Posted April 24, 2008
By Leticia Credidio