Healthy criticism is good for the design profession

What an extraordinary reaction by Ben Marston to Michael Wolff’s ‘rant’

What an extraordinary reaction by Ben Marston (DW 19 July) to Michael Wolff’s ‘rant’ (DW 28 June).

It’s natural to want to defend your work. But Marston’s criteria seem odd. He suggests you can’t judge a piece of design unless you have ‘knowledge of the clients, briefs and consultancies involved’. If so, anyone who hasn’t been intimately involved had better avoid voicing any opinion on it.

How can this be sensible? Unless work can stand on its own two feet, it probably deserves a few brickbats. And if designers can’t discuss it with other designers, how is anyone to make any progress?

I’m delighted to see spirited criticism in the pages of Design Week (which I often think reads like a collection of press releases). Let’s have more of it, and create a forum in which work can be praised, criticised, defended and debated. It’s entertaining and should help clarify what is ‘good design’.

I wonder if Marston has seen Private View in Campaign magazine? It’s a good thing he doesn’t work in advertising.

Mike Reed, Reed Words, by e-mail

Latest articles