Overthrow Designers as Cultural Intermediaries: You Don’t Have to Wear Black to Design

There is a theory that designers, be they industrial, graphic or interior, are artists that act as intermediaries between society and culture(DU GAY ET AL., 1997). They become the agents that both direct, and at the same time limit the style and diversity of products available to consumers.
command posters
By producing individualised designs, prosumers (Ponokosters) bypass these limitations and broaden the possibilities of consumer culture.

Like the garage bands and bedroom D.J.s that go on to play clubs and festivals around the globe. They develop (or design) their own sound that makes music dynamic and exciting. Pop stars developed by record labels are usually formulaic and predictable, contributing little to culture, existing only as a commodity to produce revenue for the record label.

Compare this to the state of product design. The more innovative designs are often produced by individuals, or small collectives using personal computers and whatever other resources are available to them. These resources have been greatly expanded by the web and digital manufacturing, where almost any material, process and potential collaborator is only a couple of mouse clicks away.

Lets take the reins away from Starck, Newson and co.
starckKlien Dytham
Design It Yourself – Create Culture……..


One Response to “Overthrow Designers as Cultural Intermediaries: You Don’t Have to Wear Black to Design”

  1. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] Just as Duann wrote about leveling the playing field between the independent and the design elite, there is a great opportunity to level the playing field across the globe. Innovations like One Laptop Per Child and LifeStraw are helping change the circumstances for populations that lack certain technologies. But what I think is the most important and valuable goal, is not to give developing nations what we think of as improvements to their peoples lives, but to give them a chance to communicate their culture to us. We can help increase their chances through aid and establish those lines of communication through education and technology, but beware of the power structures and colonization that too often occur. The goal should be conversation not assimilation. Today we have Design For The Other 90%, but what about Design By The Other 90%? //OBSTART:do_NOT_remove_this_comment var OutbrainPermaLink=”http://blog.ponoko.com/2008/05/08/thoughtforms-the-creative-economy/”; var OB_demoMode = false; if(typeof(OB_Script)!=’undefined’){ OutbrainStart(); }else{ var OB_Script = true; var OB_langJS =”http://widgets.outbrain.com/lang_en.js”; document.write (“”); } //OBEND:do_NOT_remove_this_comment […]

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