Escaping from the old ideas

Dewberry, Emma (2010). Escaping from the old ideas. Design Research Society.



The anthropologist and systems thinker, Gregory Bateson said that the world partly becomes - comes to be - how it is imagined. Well, designers are in the business of imagining our artificial world, whether that be products, buildings, the processes behind them, the information about them, the ways in which we interact with them and so on. Designers have a big role to play in how such imaginings play out and thus, how our world comes to be. This short talk explores what this means in a world of depleting accessible natural resource coupled with an out-dated view of production and consumption. Design, situated in the middle of this dynamic, needs to imagine an otherness – one that responds to real-world limits while meeting peoples’ needs equitabley, in inspiring and hopeful ways. This is more than ‘a tag’ of responsibility for the profession; it will come to be the form and meaning of design in the 21st century.

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