Friday, August 24, 2007

Can designers save the world? I sure hope so.

This summer I visited the Cooper Hewitt National Design museum in New York. Of course I wanted to visit the museum for its on-going collection, but the exhibit Design for the Other 90% was the first stop. I found the work very important — of course it was not perfect, but the dialogue it is creating is a great result. You can see more about the exhibit here. One of my favorites was a water tank that rolls. Its goal is to make it easier for people to obtain and transport water. Obviously it is not completely resolved – what about traversing up a mountain? But, for me, it is enough to start to think about ways to improve the old basket-on-the-head process.

I recently came across an article at designobserver.com where David Stairs critques the exhibit. One of his claims is that designers are too removed from the actual emerging environments to have a real impact. I do think that he makes many great points, but I'm afraid he has missed the bigger picture. Sometimes, the first step is to create awarness and then the change will follow. Design as a tool for cultural improvement is a new idea to most.

3 comments:

Alannah said...

I thought of you last night, Marty, when I saw the latest issue of Good Magazine. Go check it out!

xo
Alannah

miss marty said...

thanks alannah! i can't believe i didn't know about this magazine before....

Alannah said...

So are we allowed to look at your studio blog?