Design is About Knowledge Exchange

Design; a description I’d never really put that much thought into. What is it? I have always thought of it so literally; you design something- an object, a piece of clothing maybe a pattern or print. A short conference yesterday really got me thinking about what it means, the depth in the word. Maria MacLennan gave a talk about her work, she studied jewellery design at DJCAD and is now a forensic jeweller. I should say the only forensic jeweller, she created the job. The way she described design really stuck with me. “Design is about knowledge exchange.” Every field of work you can think of can be enhanced in some way when you combine it with design. I feel I may not even be able to give it the explanation it deserves as I’m only just scratching the surface when it comes to the true meaning of design.

There were two arguments later in the conference, the first by Mike Press. Design isn’t about “making stuff”, It’s about a sharing economy, a way of thinking and changing the way we live so we’re no longer just accumulating things we don’t need. Service design; it’s about people, and not stuff. “The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.”

The next talk was by Frances Stevenson, passionate about craft. “Design is valueless without craft.” A strong believer in making. Their opinions on the matter were quite different. While listening to the arguments I couldn’t help but agree with both. How can we combine the two? Continue making, keeping the craft, yet changing the way we live to a more eco-friendly and sharing community. This is really something I’d like to look more into and discover more, it might just take some creative thinking to solve!

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