making high quality design available to the public [symposium 3]

feb 13 2009

the title ‘democratic design’ has a huge punch of implications behind it.

but what does it really mean?

i think i am in need of clarification.

possible definitions swirling around in my head:

> democratic, in the sense that things should be especially designed with the intention of serving the public, the masses

> democratic, in the sense that in execution, it can be enjoyed by everyone, and is actually made easily accessible to all  [btw, what is ‘accessible’…]

> democratic, in the sense that the design actively promotes an egalitarian agenda [such as disintegration of social, economic classes]

> democratic, in the sense that the design is a participatory, representative process

what determines accessibility?

> price.  what dictates price?  designing a new and/or better object within the constraints of the same or less amount of resources required for the production of the present object.  as said by Karim Rashid at a university lecture: if freedom were a form, it would be a fluid transportable organic thing. Artists that work within reality are the ones who create demographic design, which is important in terms of affordance and accessibility. In industrial design, the goal should really be to humanize objects by re-making them relevant to our times, instead of remaining iconic.

> location [also ends up factoring into price…]

is price the only factor that determines accessibility?  i cannot think of any others!

in my opinion, i think IKEA has done a relatively good job in maintaining a democratic design philosophy.  according to their FAQ:

7. What does IKEA mean by democratic design? This is the design philosophy at IKEA. Having a limited budget should not prevent people from creating a beautiful home, with practical and sensible furniture. Therefore, IKEA offers good-quality design that the many people can afford.”

i like walking through IKEA more than i like walking through Kartell because i can afford it.


One Response to “making high quality design available to the public [symposium 3]”

  1. Dumpster.
    Salvation Army.

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