Dutch Design Week 2018 asks if not us, then who? So this week’s blog looks at this question from the perspective of a designer maker.
If we don’t take the time to appreciate creations made by others, things to make our world a better place for us to live in, then who else is going to do it? Should we be more worried that we might lose this hard-earned knowledge and ability forever? A species dies out when you eradicate its habitat. We all know this and mourn the consequences. Once it has gone, you can’t bring it back. Yet even after thousands of years of evolution we seem unable to organise this properly. Surely, we don’t want to shape a species that can only operate a console or keyboard?
So when I say appreciate, I actually mean support this work. Through spreading the word, taking action, buying and commissioning. But more than that. Realising that we are part of a bigger picture. We owe a debt of gratitude to our ancestors for the knowledge they acquired, and we owe it to future generations to consider that what we do today will affect everyone who comes after us.
So if we empower designer makers to create useful things and make them right so that they last – generations – what could possibly be wrong with that? Isn’t that just a win-win situation? Imagine if we only added a chair for every new person who was born, instead of regularly remaking several chairs for everyone? Because that looks a lot like what we do now.
Designer makers spend hours working on the things you buy from them, so you are paying for their time. Their thought processes. No, they are not high-tech impossible-to-fathom ideas, they are solutions to very human issues, like comfort and well-being. When you buy from a designer maker you are supporting part of our culture, a part that is endangered, not by industry, but by our own lack of attention. We take things for granted until they have gone.
Are we giving designer makers the right message? They are desperate to design and make things that will last. Is this the next species that will be unable to survive in our world? Perhaps it is not a world of our creating, but actually a by-product of our – runaway-train – world if we do not take charge. If we don’t do something about this, then who?