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May 15, 2009

Big Design

Kay Hymowitz considers (at considerable length) the new Design Economy, a world where information technology has enabled and democratized the design process such that it is no longer an add-on but integral to the products and services we use including virtual ones such as this weblog.*

What does this suggest for designers of all stripes given our wider economy's current straightened circumstances?

We prefer good-looking things, and we will insist on them. If anything, we may get even pickier. “The recession itself may increase design pressures,” Virginia Postrel observes. “As consumers demand more value for their dollars, design is one form of value they expect at any given price point—including cheap ones. I observed this phenomenon in the 2001–02 recession. Rather than reverting to the expectations of a decade earlier, consumers became even more demanding about design quality, not only in products and graphics but also in environments such as hotels and restaurants.” As businesses keep looking for ways to separate their products and services from the chaff, even seemingly frivolous professionals like experiential designers and design anthropologists will continue to find some demand for their services.

Design anthropologist. I like the sound of that.

* Or "blog".

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 15, 2009 07:48 AM


"We prefer good-looking things, and we will insist on them."

In the future, everyone and everything shall be moe for fifteen minutes.

Posted by: Clayton Barnett [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 15, 2009 09:15 AM

Aesthetics are a moral imperative.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 15, 2009 09:32 AM

I'm all for it if we can get the Obama administration to specify that the new vehicles made by GM and Chrysler have Mansfield bumpers, tailfins, carbureted V-8s and a measured 4 square feet of chrome trim...

Posted by: dpatten [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 15, 2009 10:15 AM