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“… di design” | translatable as “… in design style”

19 September 2011 07:42 2 comments , , , ,

How many times, in the last years, we’ve heard “… di design”?How cool is to postpone the expression “… di design” to everything?How much has this attitude damaged the true meaning of the term?These three questions are turning in my head since years and now, briefly, here I’ll try to resume my point of view about it. By now to hear “… di design” on TV is becoming like a mantra, a repetition at almost unchanged of the same word linked to every object, service or unidentified product to sell. Yes, to sell, because the definition “… di design” has by now the acceptation of “something you must have”, beyond of what is it or why. To define something “… di design” identifies it as a status symbol which the consumer really must have, at least until the same market won’t define it obsolete. Therefore the definition “… di design” is merely en expedient to make a product  desiderable and, in a way, to justify an higher price than a NO “… di design” product.

What does it mean?Can a no design product really exist?A while ago I found a sentence on a furniture magazine of large retailers (in practice an advertising container) saying: “Style. Classic, romantic or design?”. Is design becomes a style?

Do you know where is the mistake?We have completely lost the consciousness of the word Design. This word, as far as looking like design (drawing) and sometimes it has been translated so even in important fields like Industrial Design, actually means Project. To make Design means to have counsciousness of the project culture, to project stuff, through research, innovation, in order to bring to people, thanks to the possibilities of industry (as far as about poducts), a message of development, a new function, a study capable to change the approach or the way to use an object, in short, a cultural message.

This degenerate word, on the other hand, has created monsters until to transform design in mere styling (design style to set against minimal style or romantic style), obtainig many deleterious resultsabove all for the image of designers which, from researchers, creative people, explorers, have been reduced to whimsical stylists in the eyes of people and, unfortunately, of companies.

Tha fall in value of this word authorize everyone to link this definition to every kind of stuff without feeling wrong. For istance, innovative design is a contradiction. Design is always innovative, otherwise would be just a copy. Suggesting to buy a product because of it is “di design” is ridondnant, seeing that it is an industrial product and someone should have designed it (projected it), so a product always have a design back.

I don’t wanna come at this juncture into the discussion about “good” design and “bad” design, or about he arrogance of some designers who belive to define themselves “designers” just because ape a personal or artistic style: we’ll talk about it. Now I’m interested in giving back  -at least for those who are involved in this topic- the right value to this term.

To design something is a much more complex process than to invent a style and to replicate it everywhere. A project is linked with society, is made of emphaty toward the world, of innovation and, above all, of culture.

Everything we design, wether it’s an object, a dress, a yacht, a photograph, a movie, an economic plan, everything stay to the others as a message. With this word I mean that what we do remains as a reference for people who will know us, who will live our time and for once who will come after us. When someone in the future will find all these junk products, how do you think will he deem about our society?

Design can do much in this sense; it could came back to be a research topic for the development of many companies, as it was in ’50 and ’60, when buissnessman trust in young designers which then make their fortune. Design can do much as a way of awareness about important topics like ecology, sustainability, disability, …

Design can do much but designers must wonder about the importance of their role. Until designers won’t understand the relevance of their work, not just in a commercial sense, it will be diffcult to show, to whom who have never walked up to design, the actual value of the Project.


  • sono pienamente daccordo con te Angelo! potrei solo aggiungere che, per tutti gli addetti ai lavori e non solo, sarebbe opportuno ogni giorno rileggere le lezioni lasciate da un maestro come Bruno Munari.
    Lui, con progetti come quello alle spalle di “Fuffas” , la Falkland, ha tracciato un linea netta da seguire per mai perdersi nei mille significati della parola Design.

  • You’ve relaly captured all the essentials in this subject area, haven’t you?

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