“It’s not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” Anna Castelli Ferrieri, furniture designer
“We don’t need art to live. We need art to want to live.” Natasha Clark, co-founder of Summit Yearbooks
Being a designer means being a problem solver. Design a product, a business, an idea, a philosophy, even just a #shelfie. Design something. Make the world a little more peaceful, beautiful, functional. Watch the video here > to get inspired and read below to get educated on the value of design.
“The wealth of nations and the well-being of individuals now depend on having artists in the room. In a world enriched by abundance but disrupted by the automation and outsourcing of white-collar work, everyone, regardless of profession, must cultivate an artistic sensibility. We may not all be Dali or Degas. But today we must all be designers.
It’s easy to dismiss design – to relegate it to mere ornament, the prettifying of places and objects to disguise their banality. But that is a serious misunderstanding of what design is and why it matters—especially now.”
-Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind
“Design is the principle difference between love and hate.”
–Tom Peters, management thinker and guru
“Design is interdisciplinary. We’re producing people who can think holistically.”
-Claire Gallagher, former architect and supervisor of curriculum at the Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia.
“Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.”
-Paola Antonelli, curator of architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art
The science of design
A study at Pittsburgh’s Montefiore Hospital found that surgery patients required less pain meds when their rooms had ample natural light, and their drug costs were 21% lower. These findings have been replicated. We could chalk it up to being vitamin D related except that other studies have found the same results by including meditative gardens and labyrinths on hospital grounds.
-Marilyn Elias, “Sunlight Reduces Need for Pain Medication,” USA Today (March 2, 2004).
A research project in Kitchener, Ontario compared the before-and-after effects of turning a large under developed plot of land in a crime-ridden neighbourhood into a community garden. Crime incidents in the surrounding buildings dropped by 30% immediately, then by 49% and 56% over the next two years.
-McKay, T. (1998) Empty spaces, dangerous places. ICA Newsletter. Vol 1 (3), pp 2-3.
A study at Georgetown University found that merely changing a school’s physical environment from “poor” to “excellent” could increase test scores by as much as 11%.
-Edwards, M. (1991) Building conditions, parental involvement, and student achievement in the DC public school system. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Georgetown University.
The new design economy
“Outsourcing is rapidly eroding America’s superpower status. Beginning in 2002 the US began running trade deficits in advanced technology products with Asia, Mexico and Ireland. As these countries are not leaders in advanced technology, the deficits obviously stem from US offshore manufacturing. In effect, the US is giving away its technology, which is rapidly being captured, while US firms reduce themselves to a brand name with a sales force.“ [Source.]
We used to take advantage of the poverty of nations by giving them the jobs that no one here wanted to do. Now, companies realize that they can save more money by offshoring higher-wage jobs, too. The results are competent labour in poorer countries with lower wages, which means big savings for companies.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, the more ‘offshorable’ occupations are not low-end jobs, whether measured by wages or by education. The correlation between skill and offshorability is almost zero.” -Alan Blinder, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. [Link.]
Automation is also making irrelevant some industry work. We’ve seen it at banks and grocery stores. Computers are also processing lab work, analyzing blood. Increasingly more legal information and health information is available online to allow people to self-diagnose, self-help, and to get answers from experts fast and cheaply through sites like Just Answer. Daniel Pink writes that a typical person can write 400 lines of a code in a day, whereas Applegenics applications can do the same work in less than a second.