This is Maria from GMD here and this is my train of thought…
Design in the real world can either be exhilarating or perplexing. As I am taking my first steps into the industry with a large network of creatives it can seem almost isolating. The influence of technology has never been so clear. As office spaces used to be hubs for creativity and conversation, they are now silent, and the main point of contact is a group chat. Technology not only drives but enhances the work I choose to do but where has the line been drawn. We sit at desk designing for a better more connected world, but in house we seem more disconnected than ever. To this I pose the question: how are supposed to create connections when the people we try to connect with are offline?
As a designer who has an interest in technology, I will always say there is not one without the other, they simply complement each other. However, in a world that is becoming more and more accustomed to technological advances and we find ourselves acclimating to this easier style of ‘Design for a better life’. Technological advances have increased rapidly over the last few years, taking steps and strides in a multitude of fields (Artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and many more) creating life changing systems. However, at what cost? With our natural resources depreciating and rapidly what is the need for a robot who can think when we have a planet that will die before we even see the full long-term effects this software can have. A small network of designers has begun to change this, but not enough. If we consider the amount of work that goes in to designing the new iPhone, imagine if we put this effort in to prolonging our own existence. Our planet is having its own existential crisis, and we do not have many options left to heal it.
This crisis goes beyond design. However, as designers we have an obligation to see how we can create for the better. This being a cleaner and greener life and not only an easier one. All it can take is one designer/artist to take those steps and network of people will follow. If we look back historically at the design movements, the pinacols of their time, remembered for beauty and class and most importantly innovation. In a world where we are this technologically advanced, educated and connected how can we still be so disconnected to the bigger picture. We question the role design plays in this world; however, we don’t seem to see the indelible consequences of the things we create. The role of design I do agree should be for a better world, but for a long-term better world, where design is sustainable and not at the expense of the one it was designed for.