Spoilt for choice
Have we been spoilt by the choices we are presented with or have all the choices spoilt our fun? Are there too many designers or really not enough? Are there too few designers who decide for us all the shape of the things they think we will buy? Would we be better off with lots of designers so there was more variety from which to choose? If design was all so great and everywhere, why do so many people visit design weeks? What are the public all looking for? Is it just to pass the time? Or perhaps they are in search of a better and brighter future?
If we are to believe the futurists, thirty years from now, many jobs will have been automated, computerised and robotised. Some people live in fear of such a thing. But if we need less money to live and have lots of time on our hands, we will at last have time to think. Thinking is a good thing. You can see this in good design, when it has been well-considered and you sense it straight away. At a glance.
Computers have shown us the way – now let’s do it better.
First, people built computers. Then they made faster ones. Now computers are so incredibly fast they can calculate things that would take whole armies of mathematicians many years to estimate with a pen and paper. But what else are computers for? After all, they exist to calculate.
We now only work half the hours people did a century ago and yet we have a better quality of life. Perhaps in the future we will only have to ‘work’ a few hours a month. But we can learn from computers to improve the next step of our evolution. The sheer mass of available brain power, thinking together, could achieve almost unimaginable things. And in years, not centuries. So the more time we have to think as an entire nation, or world surely the better organised we will be? How often do you hear people say they do not have time to think? Because it is often not the answer that is difficult to come up with (computers were built for that), but the question. Coming up with questions is a quintessentially human talent. Since asking the right question together might make the problems of the world just disappear.
Together we could commission and create countless good designs to improve our lives.
Or have we been spoilt, by our world of computerised auto-suggest, to the extent that we have all stopped thinking for ourselves and for each other? Perhaps we have been spoilt by not even needing to choose?
We have a voice and it’s our choice.