Responsible Design

So the concept of “en bloc

As a whole.

In a block.

In its entirety.

(And an excuse to post photos of my trip to the seaside today)

en bloc Katherine Hamer

Walberswick Beach

I’ve been off on a different tangent lately.

My own designs have been given a back seat and I’m working on creating an environment where I feel comfortable about designing responsibly.

Is “responsible design” a foreign term? What about “intelligent design?” What about just simply GOOD design?

I’m currently working on a system that believes that any person who designs and creates an object should understand how that object will affect the environment and society.

The “consumer responsibility” argument becomes moot.

Consumers react to media, marketing, price, peers and accessibility.

This is not to say that people on  their own are unable to make individual choices, but society as a whole is predictable.

There are so many products available today that a consumer cannot ever know all the details of and most of the time the information is not accessible to the few who do ask.

Making a product is the designer’s speciality. Like medicine is a doctor’s and a pharmacist’s. If a surgery is done or a drug is made incorrectly due to lack of research and the result is harmful to people the instigator would expect to be reprimanded.

If clothing is made in a sweat shop from petroleum from war torn countries that will disintegrate in a few washes into plastic pellets that kill the oceans on the other hand, the designers and manufacturers simply pass the blame on grounds of “consumer demands”.

You expect a doctor to act with integrity and do the best by a patient. The consumer should be able to expect the same from designers.

Clothing and product designers should understand all aspects of what they are asking to be made – from the resources, the transport, the labour conditions, the environmental impact, the customer use and the disposal of that product.

If the product helps maintain sweatshops, increases landfill, blames customers for wasteful use and has no regard for the social and environmental effects of the product, then it is simply irresponsible, unintelligent and bad design.

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Walberswick Beach

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