Designers must stick to principles, despite the crunch

Recently, Design Week has featured more articles on the financial aspects of design than on design itself.

Recently, Design Week has featured more articles on the financial aspects of design than on design itself.

At the risk of sounding too idealistic, perhaps we should embrace the credit crunch as an opportunity to look beyond the bank balance?

It is, perhaps, the last thing on people’s minds, but as important players in the creation of a sustainable and ethical society, designers could help the world collectively to rise to the challenge.

We must wrench our creative faculties free from being servants of industry, as pawns in a game that spawns the conspicuous consumption now causing ecological and ethical overshoot.

We know that design is a powerful tool, which, as Victor Papanek said, ‘demands high social and moral responsibility from the designer’.

I do not blame designers for over-consumption – I ask them to accept some responsibility, as every consumer must.

More than ever, we need to think, then design.

Jili Allen, Soon-to-be product design graduate, Napier University, by e-mail



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