More worrying parallels between design and cosmetic surgery

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There are many interesting parallels between cosmetic surgery and design – far beyond the cursory exposure given by Mike Evamy (DW 23 January).

Like the designers, cosmetic surgeons need no qualifications to operate, nor do they have a regulatory professional body (there are organisations representing, but not regulating, both).

Computer software packages are already available to allow the cosmetic counsellor (not necessarily the surgeon) to show an image of before and after. However, like so many other claims, the results do not always bear semblance to the expectation. Not unlike some design really.

Just as you can walk into an instant print shop and ask for a corporate identity, and people do, and are given one, cosmetic surgery will be available on the same basis. The quality and standard of the work will be open to interpretation, unregulated and uncontrolled.

Horror stories about cosmetic surgery abound. A bit like design again. Too many client are duped by unscrupulous “professionals” and find themselves in a distressing situation in both spheres of operations. The scars of bad design and cosmetic surgery can take as long to heal and/or rectify.

So, next time you pop into the supermarket to “have your eyes done”, think long and hard about where you and why you should go for professional design services. Or maybe designers, because of the changes they can make to an organisation – for better or worse – should be considered nothing more than cosmetic designers.

Perhaps a regulatory professional body for both professions isn’t really such a bad idea. Maybe they could both have the same one, add it to the list of other unrepresentative “governing” bodies.

Geoff Gradwell


Lancs PR1 8HU

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