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Beyond the New – A manifesto for Design - Printable Version

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Beyond the New – A manifesto for Design - C C - May 1, 2015

EXCERPT: 1. Count the blessings of industry. Industrial processes have greater potential than low-volume productions of exclusive designs, which reach such a limited market that talk of ‘users’ can hardly be taken seriously. Industries can make high-quality products available to many people. We should breathe new life into that ideal.

2. It is absurd and arrogant to begin the design process with an empty piece of paper. Cultural and historical awareness are woven into the DNA of any worthwhile product. Otherwise the designer is merely embracing newness for its own sake – an empty shell, which requires overblown rhetoric to fill it with meaning. There is value in continually re-examining what already exists, delving into the archives, poring over the classics. What untapped potential do the materials, colours, functions and forms, still hold.

3. Design is not about products. Design is about relationships. Good design can draw, almost invisibly, on different levels of meaning to communicate with users. It suggests a lack of imagination when those opportunities are not exploited to the fullest.

4. Aesthetic value is a potent means of communication. Ugliness is also a potent means of communication. Without aesthetic refinement and without friction at the boundaries of aesthetics, there can be no personal signature and no intimate relationship with the user.

5. Designers who take themselves seriously strike an...