Hermès shop in Tokyo with a special window installation by japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka

A Changing Role for Design

by David Carlson

Our world and our society are changing rapidly, which also means a changing role for design and the designer. Design has for a long time manifested and consolidated an outdated consumer culture, almost like a monoculture. With the undermining of the global and the rise of niche local subcultures, design has a possibility to adopt a more central role as the ‘creative nutrient’, thus performing a more vital role by promoting a new ethical, responsible and sustainable cultural position by restoring diversity, meaning and value.

So, how can we make this happen? I will give you some brief ideas, in six different bullet points:

A new consumption offer

We are increasingly suffering from consumption fatigue, but brands and designers have yet to acknowledge the fact. As consumers we have begun to feel doubtful of the consumption circus. Our consumption is slowly but surely destroying us – psychologically, spiritually, maybe even morally – and, more literally, the world we live in. The Fulfillment Curve, presented by Vicky Robin, shows how shopping only makes us happy to a certain degree – then the kick quickly wears off..

True, only the future will tell if the climate of anti-consumerism is genuine or if we are only on a pause between mad bouts of bag-filling. Companies that want to come on the journey are going to have to do what many are not so good at. They are going to have to listen to what the consumer wants, rather than tell them.

A holistic mindset (above all concerning sustainability)

Quite often sustainability is only refered to as an environmental issue. But we have to adapt a more holistic mindset and extend sustainability beyond the mere material. It’s necessary to look further and include values such as authenticity, aesthetics, affectivity, multi-quality and compatibility. Without a holistic approach when designing for sustainability we risk sustaining the un-sustainable. An ugly product with no meaning and value will probably be thrown away quite fast even if the material is very eco-friendly.

A humanistic perspective

In the end, a product is worth nothing if it’s not put in a human context. When designing, we have to remember always to look through the lens of humanity.
Designers are here to serve humans – instead they insist to work with users in mind. See the difference? One route to success will be an ability to merge commerce with culture – to provide products with the same deeper meanings we find in experiences the likes of theatre, dance, food, museums, film, literature and sports, each of which offers an emotionality that multi-nationals desperately need.

Good Kharma (or call it common sense…)

Act responsible and offer real transparency. It’s like with friends, you would only like to hang out with the ones that are honest and treat you well. Many companies’ CSR work has focused on minimising their negative impact on the wider environment. Now it is time to look upon it from another, more proactive angle – to work on maximising positive impact. To follow a consumer desire for brands to not merely be purveyors of goods, but agents for good.

And it is not bad for business, a recent Swedish report shows that 85% of the consumers are willing to pay more for a product from a company that are active in their CSR work.

Hybrid thinking

It’s time to go beyond regular design thinking when it comes to innovation and transformation. The world is very multifaceted today and problems are simply to complex to tackle with just single school of thought. We need something more open-minded. Hybrid thinking is the conscious blending of different fields of thought to discover and develop opportunities that were previously unseen. Da Vinci and the rest of the crew in Florence during the renaissance knew what it was all about…
I would say Hybrid thinking is the mother of real differentiation.

Imagination

The following short movie shows the Hermès shop in Tokyo with a special window installation by japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka. The iconic Hermès scarf is in the centre of it all.



-future consumers will not buy ’objects’ but memorable experiences

-future consumers want to be immersed and taken on a haptic journey of the senses

-future consumers want poetic storytelling

If you rethink design and create better and more culturally-connected design that makes the lives better for the many – you create at the same time better business. It’s a win-win situation!

The final words in my opening remarks is from Mahatma Gandhi. Let’s have them in mind during the next three days:

Be the change you would like to see in the world.




Back

 


search

 

 

Quantcast



Archives

September 2017 (11)
August 2017 (18)
July 2017 (10)
June 2017 (12)
May 2017 (12)
April 2017 (15)
March 2017 (15)
February 2017 (22)
January 2017 (13)
December 2016 (9)
November 2016 (14)
October 2016 (11)
September 2016 (19)
August 2016 (13)
July 2016 (11)
June 2016 (16)
May 2016 (19)
April 2016 (17)
March 2016 (9)
February 2016 (15)
January 2016 (14)
December 2015 (7)
November 2015 (15)
October 2015 (12)
September 2015 (5)
August 2015 (12)
July 2015 (16)
June 2015 (9)
May 2015 (15)
April 2015 (11)
March 2015 (16)
February 2015 (14)
January 2015 (14)
December 2014 (13)
November 2014 (15)
October 2014 (18)
September 2014 (14)
August 2014 (10)
July 2014 (14)
June 2014 (13)
May 2014 (22)
April 2014 (12)
March 2014 (12)
February 2014 (16)
January 2014 (19)
December 2013 (14)
November 2013 (175)
October 2013 (17)
September 2013 (20)
August 2013 (15)
July 2013 (6)
June 2013 (14)
May 2013 (17)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (16)
February 2013 (14)
January 2013 (16)
December 2012 (8)
November 2012 (20)
October 2012 (22)
September 2012 (17)
August 2012 (17)
July 2012 (22)
June 2012 (13)
May 2012 (20)
April 2012 (16)
March 2012 (28)
February 2012 (15)
January 2012 (17)
December 2011 (34)
November 2011 (24)
October 2011 (14)
September 2011 (39)
August 2011 (39)
July 2011 (35)
June 2011 (22)
May 2011 (22)
April 2011 (23)
March 2011 (18)
February 2011 (20)
January 2011 (37)
December 2010 (40)
November 2010 (41)
October 2010 (31)
September 2010 (96)
August 2010 (36)
July 2010 (35)
June 2010 (83)
May 2010 (167)
April 2010 (42)
March 2010 (68)
February 2010 (40)
January 2010 (66)
December 2009 (60)
November 2009 (38)
October 2009 (69)
September 2009 (66)
August 2009 (49)
July 2009 (55)
June 2009 (55)
May 2009 (65)
April 2009 (55)
March 2009 (68)
February 2009 (54)
January 2009 (62)
December 2008 (51)
November 2008 (43)
October 2008 (72)
September 2008 (89)
August 2008 (56)
July 2008 (77)
June 2008 (67)
May 2008 (65)
April 2008 (26)
March 2008 (22)