• Eric HuEric Hu, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I think in addition to your responsibilities making something work, all designers have a responsibility to culture because we're the gatekeepers in a weird way. When you think of a culture, or a society you think of their architecture, their language, their art, etc and design has a place in all that. I also don't necessarily mean this in a nationalistic sense but I mean our collective society in our generation. But in the bigger picture, design largely reflects on the society we have—as it has in all societies that came before us.

    And so we're not only making products, we are contributing to a culture. We need products that work but we have a responsibility to do our part in making life not only more simpler but more enjoyable and interesting.

    In this, being an original is a part of moving a culture forward, one person at a time. It's not relying on the past but acknowledging it and carving our own place in the present and shaping the future.

    People might not care but we should care. The moment we all choose give up will be a loss for culture in general. I mean this. Especially when networks and applications are becoming a more integrated part of our life.

    It's really sad to browse DN sometimes and seeing such an overemphasis in "the client", "making stuff work." Those are important but I doubt that's why a lot of us got started in design in the first place and it takes out the soul in a lot of the work. We shouldn't have to reject that.

    Designers tend to feel the need to justify the existence of their profession, especially in the context of capitalism— and so there's been this push to emphasize that it's about problem solving, but neglecting the intangible, beautiful, and yes, artistic parts of it is just as devaluing. Thus it's also sad when designers keep getting in a circlejerk and saying it isn't an art. The difference between art and design are more of syntax and language and labels than structural, but the effect we have on people can be just the same as art and so we should keep that in mind. There has to be room for a conversation that's inclusive to a broader scope of how we make work not only for humans but for the human spirit. It's also definitely not science like this article claims to be. The metrics are completely different. Let's be real. It's insulting to both designers and scientists.

    I've been designing for 13 years now, and when someone recites the talking points of design not being art or it's all about the client, I definitely take it as a sign of a lack of maturity in the profession, and a lack of nuance and experience. Anyone who's been in the game for a long time knows it's not black and white and while there should be space to deliver there is more than enough space to delight.

    It's the age start-ups, where becoming a designer is as accessible and easy as it's ever been, and in the age of Medium where it's too easy to express a thought and have it spread, it's really depressing to witness the rise shoulder-patting articles that basically say "It's okay to lower your standards because people don't care." There's something really alarming and shameful to me and I feel strongly about this. I won't spend a minute down this road of thought. It's completely condescending.

    Being realistic is one thing, curbing expectations is healthy, prioritizing making good and sincere work over being original is also reasonable, but this article is one of many that honestly just exist to make people who don't give a shit feel okay. Let's try to fucking crush it every time we open up our laptops.

    “Amidst all the attention given to the sciences as to how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are considered "useless," will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously. The arts are the science of enjoying life.” ― John Maeda

    19 points