“Design now exists less to shape objects than to produce solutions.”

June 22, 2010 at 7:51 am 1 comment

50 posts after my first attempt to define design, I’d like to share an opinion piece from Allison Arieff titled “The Way We Design Now” (June 2, 2010). The full article is definitely worth a read, but here are two excerpts to start you off:

“Design now exists less to shape objects than to produce solutions. Instead of creating a desire and designing an object to fulfill it, a designer spotlights a problem or need and solves it. The latter has not completely displaced the former, but it has become the prevailing discourse. So it’s fitting that the newest edition of the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial [on view until January 9, 2011] questions the purpose — and future — of the discipline with an exhibit called “Why Design Now?””

“The show actively engages with the question designers both emerging and established must ask today: If not objects, what? It’s a dilemma closely mirroring that of the larger American economy, which has been shifting steadily from manufacturing to service. In response, design schools are scrambling to offer curricula that moves away from what Jon Kolko describes as “the Bauhaus, form-giving stuff.” Kolko, founder of the Austin Center for Design, a newly formed educational institution that “exists to transform society through design and design education,” believes that our recession-weary era is absolutely ready for this sort of work to thrive. “All the travesty and direness is making all the right things happen,” he says. “Kids today don’t care about the big house, the big salary. At the heart of their value system is ‘I want to make a difference.’””

At Daily Design Idea, we definitely agree.

June 22′s daily design idea is how are you designing now?


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A few iconic instances of technology driving art. Extreme concrete.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Public interest architecture. « Daily Design Idea  |  September 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    […] why today is the occasion for this relatively momentous post. It’s not post number 50 or 100 (it’s just number 158), but it is going to preface a week of posts inspired by the […]


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