The Post-Postmodernism Issue

I, Designer

It's the way we design that traps us.
Photo by Rob Hogg
Photo by Rob Hogg
Design is increasingly defined commercially. Not just because the most creative minds of our generation are devoting their talents to shifting consumer goods from shelves but in the very way we design. We are led to believe that we simply cannot design without the latest proprietary software, which is packaged and marketed with brand identities more closely aligned with religious visions or Platonic ideals than with the properties it possesses. The filters and tools of the dominant software have seemingly eclipsed ideas, creative visions, radically simple aesthetics and spontaneous, free, entirely original visual concepts. Keyboards and shortcuts have replaced the mind and soul of the designer. Without the latest software, expensive versions of which are released at regular intervals, we would not be able to design. Without the plug-ins, updates and add-ons, we would be left behind.

We’ve become so addicted to the agility and speed that these ever-improving tools have given us that – like a juiced-up athlete – we’ve lost our confidence. We’ve forgotten who we are and what we used to achieve without half the aid we now rely on.

It’s not just the content we’re designing: many of us know deep down that we are part of the problem, the fuel in the engine of consumer capitalism. It’s the way we now design that traps us.

Jonty Langley

64 comments on the article “I, Designer”

Displaying 51 - 60 of 64

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Anonymous

Being a designer I can relate to what is stated above.
However I am of two minds when it comes to dissing the latest tools.
Laughing at people who don't have the latest uploads is just childish and reminds me of being back at school in the 1980s when the graphic design department were known as the lucie whores. We were also called shoe sucking scum by the fine artists. I found that sort of limited thinking childish then and obviously it still exists.
As for computers, face it they are part of the landscape. Yes I do miss the hands on experiences of t-square, set square and x-acto but a computer can NEVER replace the wonder of a sharp and questioning mind, vital to being a good designer.
I often wonder why the old skills aren't taught in schools these days so that designers and artists can choose the route they take, however I am very fond of my computer and what it can do. I do want to state however, it NEVER thinks for me, and those who claim it does well, they can kiss my #$%.
Design is about questioning and pushing the status quo, when designers stop doing that, they become part of the problem and not the solution.

Anonymous

Being a designer I can relate to what is stated above.
However I am of two minds when it comes to dissing the latest tools.
Laughing at people who don't have the latest uploads is just childish and reminds me of being back at school in the 1980s when the graphic design department were known as the lucie whores. We were also called shoe sucking scum by the fine artists. I found that sort of limited thinking childish then and obviously it still exists.
As for computers, face it they are part of the landscape. Yes I do miss the hands on experiences of t-square, set square and x-acto but a computer can NEVER replace the wonder of a sharp and questioning mind, vital to being a good designer.
I often wonder why the old skills aren't taught in schools these days so that designers and artists can choose the route they take, however I am very fond of my computer and what it can do. I do want to state however, it NEVER thinks for me, and those who claim it does well, they can kiss my #$%.
Design is about questioning and pushing the status quo, when designers stop doing that, they become part of the problem and not the solution.

Le Choc

i understand despair. many comment-makers do not recognize it. it feels like you have nothing, and there is no reason to do anything except light a cigarette, running screaming naked in the street, looking for an apt place to kill yourself. the statement above reminds me that i seek death by cop. all these closed briefs, cubicle and terminal environments in multi-nationals to fullfil a work-role in the roll - of course this causes despair.

build wings out of post-its and office supplies, break the window with an ergo-chair, and leave your work! be free, drunk, and poor; alone with your ideas...

Le Choc

i understand despair. many comment-makers do not recognize it. it feels like you have nothing, and there is no reason to do anything except light a cigarette, running screaming naked in the street, looking for an apt place to kill yourself. the statement above reminds me that i seek death by cop. all these closed briefs, cubicle and terminal environments in multi-nationals to fullfil a work-role in the roll - of course this causes despair.

build wings out of post-its and office supplies, break the window with an ergo-chair, and leave your work! be free, drunk, and poor; alone with your ideas...

Neil Hopkins

My general feeling is that if you can't do it, or you haven't got the good idea in the first place, no amount of technology is going to help you out.

And, sometimes, the most incredible stuff is made without the use of anything 'special' or new - but made appropriately so that the quality of the idea is allowed to shine through...

Neil Hopkins

My general feeling is that if you can't do it, or you haven't got the good idea in the first place, no amount of technology is going to help you out.

And, sometimes, the most incredible stuff is made without the use of anything 'special' or new - but made appropriately so that the quality of the idea is allowed to shine through...

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