We live today not in the digital, not in the physical, but in the kind of minestrone that our mind makes of the two.
There’s this myth that designers aspire to be artists. No — designers aspire to be really great designers.
Ettore Sottsass, the great architect and designer, saw design as a way to discuss life: “It is a way of discussing society, politics, eroticism, food and even design. At the end, it is a way of building up a possible figurative utopia or metaphor about life.” Since design in all its forms has a tremendous impact on everybody’s life, and a better understanding of it will undoubtedly work to everybody’s advantage, an art museum with a design collection becomes a very powerful cultural and social agent. In this light, it is important for curators, whether they study contemporary or historical design, to be very aware of the culture within which they operate. The same is true for critics, if they really want their work to point out new, worthwhile directions, to sharpen the audience’s critical tools.
Artists are the interface between revolutions and life. Artists bring in the human factor to revolutions that get their start in technology and science. We’re used to thinking that progress comes from the technology, science, and financial sectors. Culture brings, in truth, a slower, more sustainable, more holistic and trustworthy kind of progress.
Beauty and elegance are a right, not a surplus…. We must demand, at least, intention.
Communication design focuses on delivering messages, and it encompasses most graphic design, signage, and communicative objects of all kinds, from printed materials to three-dimensional and digital projects. Interface and interaction design, which is sometimes brought under the more generic and functionalist rubric of user-experience design, delineates the behavior of products and systems, as well as the experience that people will have with them. Information or visualization design includes the maps, diagrams, and visualization tools that filter and make sense of the enormous amount of information that is more widely available than ever before. Critical design is one of the most promising and far-reaching new areas of study, using conceptual scenarios built around hypothetical objects to comment on the social, political, and cultural consequences of new technologies and behaviors. Its disciples are experts in ‘What if?’