Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Alice Rawsthorn on Good Design

Click on the School of Life blog link on my blogs list  (theschooloflife.typepad.com) and you can read Alice Rawsthorn's Call to Arms for young designers where she states that there are 6.5 billion people on the planet, 90% of them cant afford basic products and services. Half, nearly 3 billion, dont have regular access to food, shelter or clean water. Yet whenever we read, or talk, about design its invariably about something that's intended to be sold to one of the privileged minorty- the richest 10%.

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And so she writes ...and provokes us to think. She celebrates that so many young designers are addressing that need rather than automatically continuing to design products that will probably end up in landfill before long. I read somewhere the other ay that London's landfill would be all used up in 3 or 4 years time. No wonder aware young designers are thinking hard!
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2 comments:

lisa tilse said...

They're really sobering stats Sophie. Thanks for sharing the link to Alice's blog.

Sophie Munns said...

So glad to get this response from you Lisa. The post you did on Esther (I think it was)...with the re-invented china...was so inspiring precisely because it had this consciousness of working with what is already out there. As creators I think we are closer to the beginnings of things ...each time we shift our criteria for making stuff just a little closer to big picture goals things shift.
Someone like yourself is able to demonstrate, reinforce, remind, affect (some) others to be more creative...each time we remember to try creating something, instead of going straight to the Mall, the world is a better place and we are a happier people. That sounds simplistic...but there is some truth in that! Even if we sometimes feel guilty for creating products that are not 100% green
and are not for the most worthy cause... we have to remind ourselves that sustaining a life as a creative worker is a process in itself that takes enormous gumption, focus, reinvention, connectiveness if we wish to sell our work and keep it all moving.
I recently bought a copy of Green Design by Marcus Fairs on creative sustainable designs in the 21st century. Beautifully concise text and a great image for each design item...I was blown away by the depth of thought behind a great many of the designs... the wiilingness of so many, who had been recent design school graduates around the world, to utterly pull apart the subject of their interest in order to find some new way to come at it that could meet a number of different criteria in that one object. Perhaps some were less successful than others. My electrician brother had a bit to say about one of the lights he noticed that was contrary to perceptions of the young designer.
But it was the fact the so many younger designers were so willing to hit their heads and fail in order to try to find an innovation that amazed me. Sharing the good ideas, great intentions and honest efforts to realise them are what it is all about!

Lisa ...your blog is wonderful...maybe you can spread the word on Alice's position...she is perhaps something of a leading voice in the northern hemisphere in her particular realm of interest. She emailed back a lovely thanks when i emailed to say I had posted on her yesterday...that's the interesting thing...it does not matter what we didn't know yesterday...its what we do with what we found out today when we wake up tomorrow. Her message is a call to arms worth passing on. Sophie xx