Rest assured, I haven’t forgotten about you. Rather, there hasn’t been much happening lately.
I’ll try my best not to get too philosophical here, but given the topic that might be impossible.
It seems like – and moreso even lately – things are just being made for the sake of being made. This, as I’ve stressed endlessly, is bad design. There’s a difference between making things right, and making the right thing and frankly, we have enough chairs. We don’t need any more chairs. I like chairs, daresay I love them and I too have designed a couple. But I have no intention of adding my drops to the already flooded market. It seems like everyone has resorted to yelling because the internet is just this barracks full of megaphones and a crowd of people in the middle who you’re vying to attract. But then, because they’re busy yelling they’ve forgotten to like, actually make good stuff. You know, that thing we’re supposed to be doing.
And I understand the hypocracy. I’m just as guilty as anyone.
Philippe Starck is a man you’ve probably come across at some point. He has a quote that I can’t seem to find at the moment but in summation says that we have enough things and not enough solutions. Like what I said above, we have enough chairs. We’ve solved the sitting problem. What about all these bigger issues? What about housing for people living on say, $5000 a year. We could solve that; there’s no money in it.
And so I cruise around the internet in my sleek observational ship and I look at all these design sites with a certain distaste in my mouth. I see these projects that are cool and entirely uesless. I see photos like the above, which is a chapel covered in 55 000 LED lights and think “Goodness, why?” Like, what is that contributing to anything? And I realize there’s a slippery slope there towards nihilism, and there are lots of good useless things. Art, for example, can be. It often is only the latter adjective, but sometimes fulfills the former.
Then I reach this crisis in my own work. I just want to dearly to fix things, to help fight the good fight and yet I sit around writing comics or stories or this column. It’s like I’m waiting until “later” before I’m allowed to make a difference. This isn’t true, of course, but it’s hard to convince yourself of that. Why aren’t I solving all these problems I see right now? I’m capable of it.
I’m just frustrated, in the end. There’s the disparity I see in everyone else and it upsets me and then I see it in myself and I get physically irate with my similar complacence.