05 — Design

Design

Philosophy of Design

Social Responsibility

Design is a compass guiding and molding the masses. With this power it is the job of each designer to make a stance. When I say a stance this simply means developing your beliefs and sticking to them. By being confident in your own beliefs you can to freely explore each problem on a level that is unbiased. In this we will create greater socially friendly design that is will be into and influence the current zeitgeist.

Work Ethic

If you believe you have thought of something that cannot be created, you should re-evaluate the greatness in which you look at yourself. If it can be thought of it can be done, it depends upon how clever and determined you are whether it will be. With this in mind we must allow value the depth of the thought. To solve a problem we must think on a higher level than the problem itself to create an effective and useful solution. In otherwords the process of design holds more value then the finished product. Beneath the shiny shell there are (hopefully) a wealth of ideas, processes, and methods that have been developed and can be used and expanded on by others.

Design can’t be measured in terms of right in wrong. Rather, it should be active and evolving. We must look at design as do and discover. The more experience you get the better you becoming at tying all the loose ends and your products will become more effective and useful.

Conscience collective

Conscience collective is the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. The French word conscience can be translated into English as conscious,  conscience (conscience morale), perception, or awareness. Collective means it is common to many individuals; cf.social fact. “The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or creative consciousness.” Emile Durkheim. From the fundamentals of this theory we can coin the term trend.

Trends

When speaking on the topic of trends many questions come to mind: What is a trend? Are trends good or bad? Should I follow a trend or fight against it? Whatever the answer may be to these questions trends stem from the basis of collective society. “If I have seen further it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants” Isaac Netwon. My point is that we should not necessarily fight trends but gain higher understanding from them and make use of what is already proven or functional. “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” Anthony J. D’Angelo. Though trends may not be a necessity they are proof of growth and connection amongst society and they should not be put by the wayside but embraced, analyzed, and evaluated.

If you look beneath the surface of a trend often times it will bare good ideas. After all, why is it a trend? Is society completely misguided or is it possible that this trendy solution actually fulfills a current collective want or need? I was taught to despise and stray from trends. For the better part of my design career I was in agreement and would do anything in my power to have no trace of a trend in my design. Today I neither agree nor disagree with this idea. Trends can serve as a starting point for new innovative ideas. If you look to the founding fathers of design for inspiration you will find they followed pattern of “movements”  or trends as well. Does this mean we should dismiss them?

Design should

Design should be functional

Something that is aesthetically pleasing does not give it the qualifications of design. A t-shirt made out of lead may be interesting and statement worthy but it is not functional. A t-shirt is to function as an object that comforts and protects us from the elements. A lead t-shirt could do neither.

Design should be enjoyable

The point in design is to create solutions to problems, not problems in solutions. If something isn’t enjoyable it may meet the needs of functionality but it will be deemed useless through frustration. If people do not want to use something than it has not met the requirments of society and is no longer functional.

Design should be scaleable (a good idea is a good idea)

Similarities across every discipline are plenty and apparent. If a great solution has been created you can often measure its greatness on its scalability. How else and where else can you apply this solution? Is it so modular that you would be able to apply methods or ideas to other problems?

Design should be inclusive

Demographics are useful in selling a product, inclusive design is good for society. If we continue to look so literally at the demographic in which we feel an idea should be created for we will keep excluding many people and drivethem further away from the benefits they may have recieved. As the idea of physical and psychological “norm” constantly change it is crucial that we keep researching and adapting creating much more intuitive and inclusive design. Simplicity is just a complex version of complexity.

Methodology

The problem is the solution. Underneath every design problem there is a set of ideas that can be extracted through a process of deconstruction. Within this set of seemingly random ideas there are many patterns. Each of these patterns reveals a new solution completely constructed from the initial problem statement itself. Within this set there will be a solution that meets the criteria of the problem. By deconstructing and reconstructing the initial idea itself you will then give intrinsic meaning to each element and idea used. This mean comes from the basis that everything within the solution is derived from the problem meaning there are no extraneous pieces. Take lincoln logs for instance. This game consist of a variety of different shaped pieces all with similar connecting points. Some may be unique and some may be resembling of the others but they can all fit together. There will be a finite number of ways you can put these things together, each a unique solution, and one solution will have the most value based on what you require as an end result.

The Infinite Landscape

Print vs Digital…