Accessibility links

I had been wondering recently what you could exchange design for in a "time-bank" system of skills bartering. A conversation with Deborah Dawton of the Design Business Association at a dinner on Tuesday to mark the 20th Anniversary of Central St Martins put the question in vivid relief. We agreed on one obvious problem: you probably need your plumbing fixed more urgently than your plumber needs a logo. Deborah speculated on what she could offer the roofing contractor in exchange for restoring her shelter from the elements. Some storytelling perhaps; a visualisation of his narrative? A tool that will take two years to prototype, test and produce? I wobbled for a moment. Can it be that our need for design is not immediate, practical and universal? Compared to plumbing, I guess not. And yet, when you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, you want to put design only one level up from the physiological. Maybe the crux of this is speed. Is our need for design in fact strategic rather than practical, distributed rather than universal, and above all, not immediate but slow. Many have said so, especially Ezio Manzini, and I'm mostly with them except that I think this limits our ambitions for bold improvisation and lacks the thrill of the practical, immediate and universal gauntlet. I throw it down - examples, anyone?

I had been wondering recently what you could exchange design for in a "time-bank" system of skills bartering. A conversation with Deborah Dawton of the Design Business Association at a dinner on Tuesday to mark the 20th Anniversary of Central St Martins put the question in vivid relief. We agreed on one obvious problem: you probably need your plumbing fixed more urgently than your plumber needs a logo. Deborah speculated on what she could offer the roofing contractor in exchange for restoring her shelter from the elements. Some storytelling perhaps; a visualisation of his narrative? A tool that will take two years to prototype, test and produce? I wobbled for a moment. Can it be that our need for design is not immediate, practical and universal? Compared to plumbing, I guess not. And yet, when you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, you want to put design only one level up from the physiological. Maybe the crux of this is speed. Is our need for design in fact strategic rather than practical, distributed rather than universal, and above all, not immediate but slow. Many have said so, especially Ezio Manzini, and I'm mostly with them except that I think this limits our ambitions for bold improvisation and lacks the thrill of the practical, immediate and universal gauntlet. I throw it down - examples, anyone?

Comments

Be the first to write a comment

Please login to post a comment or reply.

Don't have an account? Click here to register.