Tim Brown at TED


I found this talk especially refreshing after recently feeling myself reach a saturation point for all things designed and aesthetically pleasing. Brown basically tells the design community that it is self-centered as a whole and has a tendency to produce meaningless things. He's right. I'm only a print designer by trade, but Brown's point of balancing what "humans need with technical feasibility and economic viability" seems dead-on and applicable to the wider design community. The constant stream of stuff the design community can promote and deem as good- and by implication right- has a tendency to elevate the surface qualities of design and devalue the ideals and goals that good design can accomplish. I find this to be true in contemporary art as well. Art has great potential for engaging in ideas and deeper thinking but very often bends to trends and pretentious posturing. 

I think most creatives get into their fields because they want to solve a problem. The hard part is not getting swept up in the party, which most of us small-timers are still trying to get invited to. The problem with this general human condition, is that it is not easily swayed from it's course. We seek pleasure and adulation. That's not entirely bad, but I like that Brown tempers his argument and simply asks that we not get ahead of ourselves and aim higher.

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. Furthermore, if there is a need, and we have the means, we should meet it.

via Swiss Miss