Leo Lake on Mon, 24 Dec 2001 07:48:05 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> design


> Over the past decade the world has changed. Designers found new ways for
> communication. Globalization succeeded. Everything is connected to
> everything. We enjoy all this. It's beautiful! One planet, one network, one
> style.
> We did it!

You, dear designer, did nothing of the sort. The idea of networks, of
connecting people and machines, originated among technologists tampering
with the technology they were allowed to put their hands on, among
idealistst (read the history of the Fidonet for example) who used this
technology to spread content and meet others, and among traders of all kinds
who wanted to expand their markets. All the originators of the global world
had either a clear 'problematic' or a clear idea of content.

Digital designers came in only to manage the attention of people long after,
indeed very long,  the networks had been laid down. Their problematic was a
derived one.

Please, don't take pride in the work of others.

> But the promise came with a warning: please, donıt be creative, donıt come
> up with new ideas, because itıs not in our concept and business plan. Our
> time and money is limited and our managers have everything under control! Do
> your shockwave and flash but not disturb our speculations. Play around on
> your computer but don't ask questions.

This subversion has one, and only one, fundament, namely the fact that
designers are better skilled to represent than to produce content. Content
is provided from the outside. Designers are soldiers without a nation.

I may be too old (65+) to understand this new world, by why people choose to
be better skilled at representation than at producing content is beyond me.
By choosing to be a professional designer, to become a manager of attention,
one has lost the right to complain about the source of the content. By this
choice you have placed yourself in ranks of the useable specialists. Period.

It does not really matter whether the directives originate from the circle
wealthy CEO's or the squadrons of noisy NGO-leaders: professional design
sucks by design.

> Iım a designer because I want to change the world. But changing the world
> actually has nothing to do with designing. It has to do with the
> responsibility for how this world functions and looks like. But to be
> honestS. I only became somebody who want to change the world after my
> style had developed for about 10 years.

Then it seems to me that your choice now should to produce content and make
design a secondary thing in your life. Perhaps in 10 years you can say
something like "I have given the world this new concept/new technology/new
story/a new method of comprehending the world". And you may use your
undeniably great skills of design for that purpose.

But BEING a designer?? Get Real!!

E. lake@lake.nl
W. http://www.lake.nl (Dutch only)

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net