I've been reading some of the thoughts about social backlash against design, and it occurs to me that "design" as it's sometimes expressed, has more to do with expression of the designer's inner dialogue or concepts or process, than a common visual or conceptual vernacular.
For design to be accepted, it must speak in a common language and a common symbology that has meaning for more folks than the designer alone. It is tremendously tempting for leading-edge designers to forge a new path with concepts that push the envelope. But ultimately, the design will be "consumed" by folks who are more pedestrian in nature and don't give a fig about envelopes or pushing or whatnot.
There is a necessary tension that must exist, of course, for life to emerge, but in the end, there's less to be gained from speaking fluent Flemish to an Inuit, than both parties speaking less-than-perfect lingua franca.