11 July 2008

Why do I design?

I came across a new blog today and greatly appreciated the dialogue on design (both serious and humorous). I am asking myself a lot about the role of a designer (whether it changes or shifts when in a developing country) and where the similarities remain in this thing called visual communication. As I get introduced to people here in Rwanda as a "designer", what are they thinking I do?

In this age of sustainability (a term I am using loosely but with intention), I've asked the question, "Now what does a designer do or make?" As I work here in Rwanda where my client doesn't have the money to pay for my services but needs my skills and thinking in order to move forward, I can see so many opportunities to design. I'm not an industrial designer but I see a great need for quality products with thoughtful design that are needed for sustainable existence let alone a sustainable planet. But while I'm here, acting as a communication designer, I'm asking if this type of design relegated to the "design for development" category or is it truly the brass tax of what we designers do in this day and age? I hope it's the latter. But I'm left caught in a bit of tension about such things as I work with those who don't have a computer or internet let alone know the difference between Times New Roman and Comic Sans. I'm sure I'll have more to say on that later.

In other news, we got our office at UNATEK. Unfortunately, it has a severely wobbly table, chairs that are too low for said table and absolutely no internet connection. And so, we find ourselves once again perched at the "cyber cafe" to take advantage of the easy-come-easy-go wireless.

I liked this diagram that takes a look at luxury. Now what might it be in Rwanda?

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