If design is everything, is it something?

If design is everything, is it something?

If design is everything, is it something?

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

Design has worked that way in the world for a very long time. It’s always like that.


While it is true, observes architect and designer Nicholas de Monchaux in his introduction to this issue, that design has done much good in the world, “it has also shared the responsibility of bringing us into our current ecological crisis. ; every new thing may not be much better than the old.

Of course, we try to do new things that are better than what was before. But even big changes are complicated. Take electric cars. They may not use fossil fuels, but they have their own trade-offs: A wide range of materials, from cobalt to copper to lithium, must be mined to make their batteries. Solving the resulting environmental challenges won’t begin to realize another change that would likely do much more to reduce carbon emissions: figuring out how to get people to drive less.

In her post-mortem on design thinking, Rebecca Ackermann shows how, unwittingly, this iterative problem-solving process precisely illustrated the concerns expressed by McCoy. But Ackermann reports a calculus for design today and sees reason for optimism in new efforts to create design tools that are “capable of serving diverse communities equitably and solving diverse problems in the future.” “.

The design profession has – not for the first time and certainly not for the last – been awakened to questions it never asked before: who is it for? Who benefits (and who or what might be harmed)? Who is excluded? Have we explored unintended consequences? Are we solving the right problem?

These are just some of the questions we thought about when we (yes) designed this issue, which features what you’ll see aren’t typical “design” stories. What they reveal is the amazing breadth of design today.

Will Douglas Heaven looks at the use of AI automation for new drug design, an approach that has the potential to deliver cheaper pharmaceuticals in a faster time frame. Matthew Ponsford explores the transformation taking place on the outskirts of Mexico City, where the cancellation of a major international airport project has created an opportunity to revive the nature and culture that once thrived there. Could this controversial wilderness point to the future of ecological design?

John-Clark Levin’s fascinating commemoration of the 25th anniversary of massively multiplayer online role-playing game Ultima Online, precursor to the metaverse, shows how much the relative success or failure of design depends on human behavior. Do humans act as the designer intended or not?

And you’ll find a movement in the realm of alternative prostheses: the creation of devices that, instead of trying to mimic the appearance of a “normal” limb, don’t try to blend in with it. Barriers ranging from conformist thinking to cost have inspired designers to forge a new path, which could, writes Joanna Thompson, “help prosthetic wearers regain control of their own image and feel more empowered, while eliminating simultaneously part of the stigma of disability and limb difference”.

If we accept that everything is design, and by extension that everyone is a designer, then our expectations of the discipline may have been unrealistic or even wrong. “It’s no exaggeration to say that designers are nothing less than the making of contemporary reality,” designer Rick Poynor wrote in 1999. What might be different now is that we recognize the responsibility that accompanies being part of this process.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button