Today, one of the designers with whom FUTURE NOTION is liaising with alerted me to the fact that Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012.
Alright then, to the uninitiated…World Design Capital is “a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life.” (official source: http://www.worlddesigncapital.com/) (kinda like Olympic games for Design)
In this day and age, the value of design is becoming more and more tangible as companies, brands and designers differentiate themselves to compete with consumption dollars increasingly & easily gobbled up by daily deals, frantic time crunch discounts, desperate weekly sales, low ball coupons and bargain basement prices. (90% off ya’ll – who cares if the poor producer is left bearing the cost of the sale.) AFTERMATH: poor (almost bankrupt) retailer, no returning customers, low customer attachment to product/brand/service purchased, and our pet peeve – the throwaway purchase. (Typical product cycle: Buy Shoe, wear Shoe twice, throw Shoe away because Shoe fell apart after a stroll in the park.)
There is little recognition based solely on the fact that a tangible good OR service is purchased purely due to its design integrity, intrinsic value, originality of thought, longevity & utility. This little screen capture of a quote – (COPIED AND PASTED – in the spirit of full disclosure) neatly summarizes the current state of Design’s VALUE in this cheap, selfish economy. SOURCE: http://wdchelsinki2012.fi/en/blogs/2012-01-10/february-door
The gravitas of the last sentence is captivating – small things that make life more pleasant – Let’s all make a conscious effort this year to design our lives around small things that make life more pleasant for OTHERS – those who do not have a voice and have to deal with the extreme aftermath of what we might, in our absorbed lives, leave behind.