I assume everyone’s first thoughts about good design are the objects we see every day, from large objects such as motor-vehicles and small objects such as toothbrushes. Indeed, objects such as these have been through the same thought process and design journey but I believe the company’s that create them, force us as consumers to appreciate them more due to the abundance of advertising we see everyday and the pressure of ‘need’. Since beginning my course at Goldsmiths University I am starting to appreciate design as if it was a piece of art; not only judging its appearance and function but reading and finding out more in order to direct my own creative practise.
‘In Britain, design used to be called commercial art, to distinguish it from the real thing. When designers first began to organize professionally, in 1930, they called themselves the society of Industrial Artists. That was when design came to be recognized in its modern sense, after a bitter divorce from craftsmanship.’ - (Sudjic, 2009: 169)
I always thought of ‘good’ design as sustainable; fixated around the six R’s (reduce, rethink, refuse, recycle, reuse, repair) and concerned only with the needs of the consumer, but I’m passed the point of thinking that. ‘Good’ design to me is personally shaping a consumption, raising a question to create a discussion, and not forcing us to believe products on the market are ‘good’ design through ‘good’ (bad) advertisement – for example the Toyota Prius vs. the Hummer H2. The TreeHugger.com article discusses the margin between these two vehicles being environmentally friendly isn’t as everyone would expect. I assume most people that own a Toyota Prius think they are ‘saving the world’ but really when everything is taken into account, from concept to disposal the gap between is small, because of the technology needed to make a hybrid car. This is also similar to how we as consumers assume great design behind mass production of cheap goods. Thomas Thwaites demonstrates how it is even possible to create a £3.49 toaster that contains 400 different parts made out of a hundred-plus different materials. Yes, it’s great that products like these are accessible for most people, but it’s hard to believe how the price can cover its cost of production when considering the assembly and footprint it has done to get to the household. I think the question I would like to ask and answer in the future is ‘what is a pure sustainable, environmentally, human friendly design?’ and would that then be considered as ‘good’ design?
Because of false advertisement and forced ‘need’ of goods, personally my favorite form of design is Critical design.
‘The best speculative designs do more than communicate; they suggest possible uses, interactions, and behaviours not always obvious at a quick glance’ (Dunne & Raby, 2013: 139)
As a design student I feel like it offers new opportunities and different approaches to break boundaries. The idea of ‘suggesting possible uses’ allows consumers to be a designer themselves and create discussions with one another.