a collective mix-all [symposium 9]

apr 24 09

what started out as a slightly stunted discussion on ‘danish design over the course of the semester’ (too wide and unchartered of a topic, in my opinion) turned into a burning question sparked by courtney that has been prickling in my brain for the past week.

is the design world flattening?

[flattening : can be interpreted in the Thomas Friedman sense, but i mean in more of a lack-of-humanistic-depth sense]

in this age of increasing consumer culture and commoditization, is the future of design becoming geared more and more towards only the aesthetic?

with the increasingly blurred boundary between art and design, it seems as if the purpose of the production of certain items/works is becoming more and more esoteric.  are humans starting to only want things for a superficial desires?

after attending the milan design fair this weekend [more on that later], i  found myself wondering whether most of the furniture being shown was any better, functionally, than last year’s collection or the already existing and ikea chairs that cost 1/100th of the price.

BUT what is it that unconditionally relegates aesthetic to ‘flatness’?  is it impossible for aesthetics to have depth?

is the ultimate goal of design to improve human life in some way?  if a design adds an extra flairy curve to a chair leg, and that curve makes your heart sing, is that flatness?

does contributing to some level of happiness count as improving life?

i think i need to think about this more and formulate my thoughts more clearly.


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