Design for Society. Nigel Whiteley Reaktion Books Ltd.

Consumer led Design, Responsible Design and Ethical Consuming, Green Design? The Way Forward?.

To be updated re theory into practice..

With reference to Green Design, the eighties/ 90’s saw an emergence of consumerist concerns and commercially lead solutions in the form of ‘save our planet’..

In short, no where have I read within my initial enquiry into Green Ethics, a regard for the actual human being, in so far as their personal well being, especially regards entrapment within such consumeristic scaremongering.

Consumer Lead Design:

Anni Albers of the Bauhaus quote 1924: “we all have the same telephone without longing for and individual design. We wear similar clothes and are satisfied with a small degree of difference within this restriction”

“Albers sentiments aim to define the opposite to a design which is consumer or market led. The notions of choice and variety in the design and styling of products which we now take for granted were considered unnecessary, outdated, and socially divisive by those committed to the Modernist vision of technological progressivism”.

Marcel Breuer, the designer of such modern classics as the B33 chair and a contemporary of Albers at the Bauhaus, expanded on the idea of impersonality in design. In language that was as precise and unemotional as the objects he designed, Breuer called for ‘clear and logical forms, based on rational principles’. (Form and Function- Tim and Charlotte Benton, London 1980).

..Designs Modernists hoped ‘would transcend their period and become ‘styleless’ and timeless’.

Now it could be argued there is a wisdom in this. A wisdom that is actually concerned with the well being of mankind. I feel it is a design approach that is ever more relevant to this day in a world headed rapidly towards unrestrained materialism.

The Way Forward?

“Design directly expresses the cultural, social, political and economic complexion of a society, and it thus provides a snapshot of that society’s condition. In so doing it reveals a great deal about that society’s priorities and values. Design matters: it is too important just to celebrate, collect or historicize. The world situation demands that we develop a greater awareness of designs explicit and implicit values and their implications, and exercise a greater control of design in our societies. ..  design has an overwhelmingly positive potential to effect change”. pg 159 .

The Art of Utopia, certainly addresses such issues in my opinion.


About generalmagnetic

Designer Maker / Technician 3D Design - Architecture
This entry was posted in Research Methods and Development, Theory, Theory into Practice and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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