Sometimes I find myself cynically questioning some of my, or other’s idealistic design visions and their apparent incompatibility with reality.
I think about the many posts I have written exploring new design opportunities in:
The Environmental Design Offset Theory
Lab Cultured Materials
Then I take a step back and realize that ideals regardless of their infeasibility, are an important human quality akin with optimism and hope.
Ideals motivate us to seek out greater understanding and although that knowledge might not accomplish anything overnight, it informs gradual change and directs progress.
Positive ideals are like a compass guiding us towards a better world and future. Although we may never create and reach a Utopia, I believe that we can only come close with idealistic design vision to guide our strategy. The higher we set our standards the higher we can hope to climb.
“Politicians make promises, they don’t have ambitious plans. A major reform stems from a innovative mind. Maybe they won’t achieve it, but they tried. At least it will bring a learning experience and will help to advance a new idea, to begin changing mentalities” – Françoise Dolto
Most designers I believe are uniquely driven by ideals to create product intended to improve life, most of us are far from being corporate career politicians. We contribute not only internally to company revenue, but also externally by creating product which encourages lifestyle and promotes ideals. Our innovations inform consumers on both conscious and subliminal levels.
Like building blocks, every design helps build and define an entire generation and culture. But objectively speaking what future are we encouraging our consumers to build through our seasonal designs? Where will a seasonal design vision that is often short term, conformist, repetitive and sometimes cliché lead to?
Think about it, if fashion is cyclical and repeats itself, its also conservative because the paradigm remains the same. If your design was inspired by a sports car, that same formula has already been used countless times over the last 20 years. And while it may look new to you and younger generations, its not such an innovative solution, nor so progressive.
As designers can we be more aware, plan further, designing more holistically, creating multifaceted product that brings greater benefit and value besides a seasonal aesthetic and short term function. Through our products can we encourage a culture of awareness, of reason rather than impulse?
Drop by drop, brick by brick, design detail after design detail, we can all help build a better, healthier future, as difficult as it seems.
After all where would we be today without dreams, especially the ones that were once considered impossible?