I have just returned from the OFFF festival in Barcelona. Earlier this year, they asked me for a statement about the future. They announced this the Year Zero, a restart. Go back to zero, wipe out the past, etc. Not sure I agree with that, but that’ll be the topic for another comment.
Usually, I deny these requests because I don’t like making predictions about subjects I don’t know. But they insisted, and in the end I sent them this little piece:
Rethink Design, Redesign Thinking.
As a designer, I like the future.
After centuries of being dominated by technology – from cutting wood to printing negatives, from baking mud bricks to reinforcing concrete – designers of all disciplines now have the tools to present and make anything imaginable. There is no excuse for not coming up with new concepts. Designers and architects can no longer blame their shortcomings on the limits of technology. There will always be clients to blame – that has not changed since the Pope asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of that little chapel in the Vatican.
The best thing, however, is the fact that we are beginning to realize something else: we have talents that go beyond making things work well and look good. We can also take apart ideas, look at them, throw away what is not needed and put them back together again. Designers can redesign thinking. And we need to, because nobody else will.