Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Gabriel Harp

Bangalore, India

Design Ecologist

Member since May 22, 2007

  • A little design criticism and unsolicited advice



    I'm relatively new to this network and not yet familiar with all of the customs. Perhaps this is why I'm finding many of the categorizations that structure the site somewhat troublesome. For example, on my profile I'm asked to rate my interest in various "design" disciplines (fashion design, communication design, industrial design, and audio/visual). Call me crazy, but I think there is possibly a conflict here with the underlying intent of the site.

    I certainly recognize that the predominant modes of design training rests in these disciplines. However, it stands to reason that many designers aren't trained to be designers in these traditions. Take this and compound it with the notion that design is a cross-cutting process that, for instance, might be better described in terms of, oh let's say, teaching and learning design, empathy design, sustainable design, scalable design, systems design, and/or behavioral design. I suppose I'm more interested in the conversations that can happen when we approach problems from a perspective of common ground rather than the traditions that have brought us here. Is there a way to move beyond these industry-centered skills categorizations into skills and methods that can bring us closer to the social themes we are here to affect.

    Semantics is everything.

  • I agree with you. Society is more complex than industry. Social issues are complex, and this requires a special effort from design. In my opinion, the effort is understanding that complex facts need complex design. If we look at the intersections among different fields (such as even art and science), probably we will find new solutions. Otherwise the risk is repetition, and lack of innovation.

Leave a Response

Fields marked * are required

No file selected (must be a .jpg, .png or .gif image file)

Once published, you will have 15 minutes to edit this response.


My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design