Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Design Crisis

I found this quote on a forum at Design Community.
"In many ways, the environmental crisis is a design crisis. It is a consequence of how things are made, buildings are constructed, and landscapes are used. Design manifests culture, and culture rests firmly on the foundation of what we believe to be true about the world."
— Sim Van der Ryn, quoted in The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, by Jason McLennan

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Bruce Mau.
"What if we could do anything? What if the questions surrounding design turned out to be the big questions? What if life itself became a design project? What if - as Arnold Toynbee once suggested - we were committed to an audacious, altruistic global project that imagined 'the welfare of the entire human race as a practical objective'? What if design turned out to be that project? What if we succeeded?"
The thought of "the welfare of the entire human race" as a practical design objective is intriguing. If it were true, then there is a corollary. Most of society's problems have been caused by bad design. If the problem is bad design, then the solution lies in good design. What if saving the world is easier than anyone realises?

Of course the next question is, "What is design?"

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