Designing Through a Depression: Article

The Design Sequence courtesy MIT A depression, not a recession or a downturn, can referr to the point or period in a time in our lives where things didn't go as planned - in fact they got so bad we didn't even know it could get this bad. This isn't a down-on-your-luck type of scenario but a loss of control. It's important to remember that without change there would be nothing to move us upward.

Allison Arieff speaks to this in her article "Designing Through a Depression" (NYT, April 8, 2009).

Design editor Pilar Viladas echoed Moss, focusing her essayin T magazine on her love for (and support for the ongoing production of) a $900 Royal Copenhagen plate — and “for those of you who can actually afford it,” she concluded, “mazel tov.” And, never one to shy away from an opportunity, provocateur/designer Philippe Starck jumped in and attempted yet again to end his own career with the suggestion that any talk of the beauty of the designed object ” . . . seems a bit obscene.”

Arieff speaks of the "shovel ready" projects to contribute to our economy - but at what sacrifice? The design, the products, the environment? Re-think design, re-think process, re-think manufacturing and that requires time - which we have. She speaks to mercury-free light-bulbs, abandoning the car for the 20 minute commute... things we may or may not be thinking of ourselves.

It is a time to re-think, not re-do or undo, re-imagine, re-purpose and recycle. I agree with Arieff, the designer is the problem identifier first and solver second. "The body has to be impeccable as well - that helps alot" says Karl Lagerfeld to Harpers Bazzar "If it's not, buy small sizes and less food." (thanks PJ!) I know it's twisting something someone said to suit my needs, but our lives and thoughts, like our bodies, should be pristine and finely tuned machines. It takes less work to smile than frown, one negative thought equals 7 positive ones, it takes 21 days of change to make it stick... and so on. We need our actions and reactions to design, heck, life even, to propel us forward.