Nowadays affordable hardware and sometimes even free software can allow anyone to make music, movies or design to a professional standard. Digitized works which can then be posted/distributed work online for everyone hear and see, to be discovered by a label, or to carve out a career as an independent creative professional.
Digital technology is increasingly offering exciting prospects for anyone with a desire to be creative, but with a surge of creative expression how will the creative landscape change? What happens if everyone wants to be creative, when the audience becomes the musician, when the consumers become the designers?
What will be the consequences of the democratization of the creative process?
The documentary “PressPausePlay” (below) examines this new creative phenomenon.
You are right! The democratization of the design process means a significant change for the whole design industry… but as i see it the majority of consumers will never be qualified enough to do professional design. Otherwise one must not study it. The quality of design is guaranteed not only by design specific software skills but also by a profound knowledge of society, cognition and many other theories. What makes a design great is not its technique. What makes a design great is its potential to improve the world. Many design products created by average citizens are decorative. That`s all.
Designs nature is to guide the user, to help understanding processes and to pull down borders. Designs by self announced “designers” very often represent their desire for participating. And of course it is easier, or it seems to be easier, to participate in creative processes. But there is a part of design we can compare to engineering. Designer as well as engineers build a construct. Only that designers build this construct out of immaterial substances. Architects, for example, build something for people to live in. In a modern understanding a house has to offer certain “services”. Designers build “rooms” as well and these rooms have to offer certain “services” too. What in case of architecture is a well organized ichnography, is for designers a well structured information architecture in case of web design. These things can’t be developed by average citizens.
I think it all depends on how easy software becomes to use and whether companies enable consumer design. Consider Nike iD as a starting point and Sketchup “3D for everyone” software as step forward. Also check out Scott Summits talk on my post titled “The Future of 3D Printing – The Creation of a Paradigm Shift“.