08 July 2009

Back to Morris?

What do you think about this quote?

To understand the language of design, we also need to understand how the designer has evolved as a professional. Ever since design emerged as a distinct activity, closely linked to the development of the industrial system towards the end of the eighteenth century, designers have lurched from seeing themselves as social reformers, idealists, profoundly out of sympathy with their times, like William Morris in nineteenth-century England, to become the charismatic snake-oil salesman led by Raymond Loewy in mid-twentieth-century America. Morris hated the machine age, and tried to find a way to re-create the tradition of the hand crafted object.

-From The Language of Things by Deyan Sudjic

Are we, like Morris, in a place of rejection of the pains our industrial age has inflicted? DIY replaces expert, handmade becomes the new high-end and what was seemingly mechanized is less appealing compared to the seemingly organic. How has (must) the designer changed his or her role? Are we in a design reformation or is it actually a revolution?

How do you view your role as a designer? Reformer, idealist, salesman or ?

An interview with the author

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