Is design good or not? The unresolvable question
When we walk on the city street, we are standing in a forest of magnificent skyscrapers, passing by the street of display windows, and meeting the different sorts of strangers. What we saw is including large amounts of elements on design, such as product design, communication design and even architecture.
Objectively speaking, design undeniably give human lots of benefits. Design improves and enriches the material life of human, also brings the convenience and happiness to the mankind. Now, design has been completely integrated into the modern life. Modern people cannot live without design, and having a unique design as a way to stand out their personalities. At the same time, studying or engaging in design work, also is believed to be very interesting , fashionable and popular job in the modern society. Whether from TV news or magazines, everywhere is publizing “design is beatiful and useful, design makes the world better and unique”.
However, when I was enjoying the “glory” and happiness bringing by design, I can’t help doubting everything. Is Design really a good thing? What if the world without design, can we become more happier?
To solve this questions, I have to figure out a lot of other questions. The first comes to my mind is “what is design?”
Here is the defination from Wikipedia, “A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is built or made.” And another one from a blogger named José Luis Antúnez, he defines design in only two words, “good solutions”. Therefor, Design seems like a pretty good and important word in people’s mind.
Why is design?
I’m not sure how long the history of design industry is. If we include all types of design, such as architecture and fashion design, it should be traced back to a very long distant history, maybe as long as the human civilization. Therefor, it is not an easy task to explore the answers. I try hard to image the first designer in the human history, handsome primitive man wearing fur and skin stood up in front of his cave, clutching his hair, wondering how to change the campfire stones’ construction to protect fire from wind and water.
If for the original humans, design is the tool to meet human survival. Then to the Middle Ages, the design becomes a symbol of religion and nobility. During the Industrial Revolution, design is how to stimulate productivity and increase commodity turnover. Until today, design is to satisfy and improve the personal life. It sounds like design become more and more closer to our daily life. Everyone can enjoy the convenience and happiness brought by design. But at the same time, people are changing. They become increasingly difficult to be satisfied and the enthusiasm of things is getting shorter. We often hear of people miss the old days, are they missing the memory of the past time, or past days is really better than now? Design brings more choices to people, but do more choices really make us happier? If we say chasing the beautiful things and fickleness are human nature, how can we know design is the best solution? I still cannot figure out the answers.
So here comes another questions, does design bring to mankind only benefits?
Looking into three major issues in today’s world, population, energy and environment. Human desire to get more wealth and comfortable living enviroment, thus increaed demand for material, resulting in a large number of environmental and energy‘s exploitation and destruction. When the human facing to this increasingly damaged Earth, wisdom humans began hastily searching for a solution. Therefor, many theories are appearing. From end of PIPE, using pure materials, energe performance to today’s behaviour change. People try to fix the mistakes by making many theories, however, to ignore the source of mistakes. Is ignorance of human makes them not see the cause of all the truth, or the wisdom man had already seen through all the results has been irreparable. Comparing living standards in developing countries with those in developed countries, in the third world, even human basic conditions are not met, will design be that much important in their lives? Is design only a toy for the people in developed countries? Is only the people’s spiritual and material life meet some standards, design will play positive roles? In the other ways, can human live without design?
Is design good for me?
Design, the word comes into my life is not very long time, that is, I am not born in the city with developed design enviroment. I am from the northeast of China. My city is not developed like Beijing and Shanghai. In my memory of childhood, the shop signs are always plain. Bright yellow words with red background or white characters with blue surfaces. Nothing wrong in kids’ eyes. Unconsciously, in this generation of young people is undergoing changes of history. China is rapidly developing. In shortly twenty years, I superisly all the changes in my city. Every year I am back home in holidays, there are new shopping centers, wide roads and more and more traffices. Suddenly, the shop signs are all changed. I hardly found the old board signs in my memory. The road of developing is tortuous. Certainly, there are good and bad design in China. One day, when I realized I am using judgment eyes to look into my country, I was shocked. I do not remember since when I started to analyse the form of a bottle or a layout on a poster. I do not remember since when the lamp in my eyes is not only a lamp, it becomes a well designed lamp or a bad designed lamp. I can’t clean these minds in my brain. I felt heavy. At this time, I remember the reason why I choose Industrial Design. I am a big fan of stationary. I relized this when I was a pupil. I like to shop pens, notebooks and any other stationaries. In my drawers, there are always dozens of new notebooks I never gonna used. I enjoy the time when I am in the shops. I remember the smile faces when people found their loved pens or notebooks. I decided to design my own stationary. I want to see the smiling faces when people open the notebook I designed. But now, my head is full of new knowledge and skills I learned, but my dream has become blurred.
After a day, when I laying in bed, I try to remember all the stuff I was studying in the daytime. Present skills, teamwork, AutoCAD,all kinds of maps. Are they really important to my life? Is design important to my life? Or as people said, Ignorance is bliss. But I know, this is just the process I have to get through. In one day, maybe not far away, all the puzzles will be figured out.