Technology plateau brings ethical rethink

I recently attended a debate hosted by the Not Now forum, which questioned change, creativity and the future of creativity.

I recently attended a debate hosted by the Not Now forum, which questioned change, creativity and the future of creativity.

The debate was focused on how we deal with change and if retro and nostalgic themes have an impact or influence on contemporary design.

My feeling is that while change is good, there will always be gatekeepers of change, who fear enterprise and innovation.

But we can nudge the parameters of mainstream by questioning and defying convention. The gatekeepers are not just corporates, but also us – as consumers. We may be in a technological comfort zone.

For example, I’m content with my 1Mb broadband. I don’t necessarily need it to be faster for the moment, so I throw away leaflets offering an 8Mb capacity. Innovative upgrades can wait until I’m ready – or can they?

We can’t use the technological, social and ethical advancements of the past 25 years as a guide for the next 25. While the electronic age has been a catalyst for change, the advent of computers, mobile phones and cable TV has brought a level of contentment that leaves us (temporarily) satisfied; we don’t necessarily want to upgrade our goods.

This contentment stunts the growth of new creation and innovation and opportunity. There are many creatives pushing the boundaries of creativity, but is there a bottleneck of creativity that is suppressed by the status quo?

Have we reached a plateau in technological and creative advancement and shifted towards social and ethical design roles? We will be challenging aesthestics, while issues such as sustainability, fuel efficiency, waste reduction and social responsibility become a natural part of the design process – and a positive future.

Richie Manu, Student, Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London WC1

Latest articles

The biggest product launches of 2017

We look at some of the most exciting product design stories from this year, including a reincarnated version of the Nokia 3310 handset, a touchscreen projector from Sony and a smart