Tuesday, April 01, 2008

If design is dead, what happens to design (and craft) thinking?

Philippe Starck is the French designer who championed elite design, and has been responsible for everything from toothbrushes to houses. He now claims to be ashamed of his practice and intends to quit from design within two years.
"I have been a producer of materiality. I do feel ashamed for this. What I want to be instead now is a producer of concepts. This will be much more useful."
An English translation of the interview with Starck printed in Die Zeit is provided by mlle a. on her blog here. A full reading of the translated interview is recommended.

This raises the question of the future and value of design thinking (and craft thinking) in a post-material design culture. It is interesting how many of our students on our Master of Design (MDes) course come from a craft-based undergraduate degree and have applied themselves seamlessly to strategic design projects. Significantly, this more conceptual approach makes full use of their craft knowledge and thinking, demonstrating the unique value of craft thinking to a range of problems covering healthcare, strategic management and social issues.


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