Research: seeing design
22 March 2013
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust
The innovation white papers of developed economies (notably of UK, USA and Australian origin) recognize an inability to compete with other countries on manufacturing and labour costs, and have turned their attention to creative or innovative industries, such as design, to help drive business and create value. People are increasingly satisfying their aspirations through consumption yet not evidently reaching a position of wellbeing and contentment, the ideal lifestyle. The complexity of the economic, social and political world we live in no doubt contributes to a feeling of disenchantment and disregard for the collective interests of society.
When designers put pencil to paper (or the digital equivalent!), they may be shaping the lives of others with a single a gesture, a line to divide city boundaries, to subdivide a lot, to put up a wall, to insert a door, to add a shelf, to locate a wire. Given the complexity of the way we live, the responsibilities and opportunities professional designers face are enormous. Our current lifestyles are unsustainable and in order for the creative industries to play a role in delivering more sustainable alternatives, it is crucial to make some headway in understanding the complexity of the interplay between context and human behaviour contributing to lifestyle.