Talk about confusing… So what is design?

This week’s topics were very confusing and hard to comprehend, but after discussions in class the concepts made sense in the realm of design. The reading from Tuesday discussed fashion and sustainability, in the idea that we need to change our design concepts to adhere to fundamental human needs without detracting from the “fashion” of the item. This was a very interesting concept because it is something that I had never really considered but it is the whole reason that I purchase a piece of clothing- why do I need it and how will I use it.

Design activism was the other big topic from this week which was particularly interesting to me as an interior design student. The idea of design activism is to create designs that not only meet clients’ needs but also better society as a whole. Design activism as explained in this article is composed of 5 capitals: natural, human, social, financial and manufactured.  The idea of these five capitals is key to design activism and in the end sustainability. We as designers need to understand each of these five capitals and how they interact together and for sustainability. Human capital seems to be the core of design activism because we are the momentum of design we affect natural, social, financial and manufactured capitals.

I found these topics of the week very interesting in numerous was. Although the first article focused on fashion I believe it can be applied to interiors as well, because as designers no matter the field we must adhere to individuals fundamental human needs but also meet their desires to have a specific style. Also design activism I think can be the core of basic design- we as designers must understand these five capitals in order to design products that not only meet peoples’ needs but also societies’ needs and products that will last.

So what do us as designers do now that we know about these topics? How do we start to incorporate these concepts into our designs and how do we present these concepts to other designers and clients so that they better understand design? Also when does it become fundamental that these topics be taught in design schools so that there is this common ground between designers so that as a whole the world can move towards more sustainable and smart designs? 

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1 Response to Talk about confusing… So what is design?

  1. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    A great reflection with good support!

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