read: a value system for conscious design

valuesystem14

2012

introduction.

We reached a point in history at which we have to understand, that we are not able to continue acting like we are doing now and like we did in the past. We can not support infinite growth of industry, production, consumption and capital in a finite world anymore. We can not support a system in which the wealth of a minority causes vast harm to the rest of humans, the natural world and all its living creatures.
For the problems we are facing, we are finding solutions, and to apply them we need to work together. Through new approaches and a change of our point of view we are able to redesign the way our world is now.
Designers need to act within a new value system, which reflects the realities of our situation.
Designers need to understand the problem, observe the circumstances, analyse and translate them, in order to create solutions. This value system helps to shape the way towards solutions, by providing self reflective advises, subdivided into five categories: balance, culture, cooperation,
time and evolvement.


 

design education.

»We are „educated in error“, thought of course, without this ever having been the intent – it is merely one of the structural manifestations of unsustainability as it is deeply embedded in our culture. At its most basic, we can expose to ourselves just how much of the perforative character of our acquired expertise functions on the basis of unquestioned assumptions.« – David Orr
When we are educated to become designers, we are taught how to imagine, how to create and how to put our ideas into tangible things. We learn to solve problems by using our creativity. However we are educated in a system which operates in particular orders. Most of the time those orders are invisible to us, as we were conditioned to take them for granted. But when something is obviously working there is no or only little need to question it. Our man-made system is at a point where it struggles with the natural system it is inhibited by, and on which it also depends. Therefore, step by step it is mandatory to change our man-made system into a more sustainable one.
Since a while now we are searching for solutions to the problems. So far no answer was big enough to solve the problem or was achievable for a constantly growing amount of people inhabiting this planet. But a lot of small answers are escaping from different places and they are starting to join up together. Unfortunately we are still changing too slowly and not enough people have yet notices that a shift of the system is important. This is also due to lacks in current education: general, scholar and academic. Those operating in the old system need to consider the importance of a change and incorporating it into their learning.


 

conscious design.

As designers we are a problem solving discipline. In thecurrent system we are taught the art of creating shapes, meanings and usage through colours and materials.
Therefore if we think about changes to „sustainable design“, we are thinking about the components of the design: the attributes of the material, the messages communicated, the manufacturing, the live-span, the disposal, and its impacts.
But the discipline of design goes much further than that, when we consider what design actually does: It is acknowledging problems and understanding them, it is observing their circumstances, analysing the conditions and translating them into solutions.
„Our new world order requires not just learning about material selection and design for disassembly, but also how to interact with diverse communities, engage in productive debate, articulate thinking not just solutions, and understand that object generation is not synonymous with success.“ – Valerie Casey

Thereafter design has much more opportunities than it seems to have. It can actually help to reshape our system. Though not only by re-thinking the physical aspects of design but by changing our perspective and knowing the factors that are causing the wrong perception.

»…human action will always be destructive; there is, however, an enormous divide between not knowing and knowing this fact and thereafter making critical decisions in the light of this knowledge… Such demands can only be realised through circumstantially directed, paradigmatic shift in the collective condition of humanity…« – Tony Fry