Design evokes images of furniture and gardens, logos and architecture, or people with funky glasses with great taste in color. We know the Danish are good at, as are the Italians. It lives in the provinces of money and pleasure: fashion runways, shelter magazines, and good restaurants. It’s about pretty, right? So what does it have to do with anything that really matters?
Design lies at the intersection of human endeavor and the natural world. Whether we devour or conserve is by design. Whether we connect – with nature, with our bodies, with our work, with each other – can be helped or hurt by design. The design of products and stores, of homes and workplaces, of cities and public spaces, of corporate supply chains and of campaigns for change all contribute either to living more joyously and lightly or to disconnected consumption.
We can think of design as beauty, as function, or as active planning with intention. A design that works well, from a product to a home to a cityscape or even a production line, is often beautiful to behold in efficiency, play, even color and light. Good design has imagined the outcomes, invites real engagement, helps us do more with less, and satisfies.
Just when we face so many devastating threats to our world and ourselves, it’s time to explore where we are succeeding and where we are failing– by design.