This talks about focusing more on the “cries and facing the delicate values that are about to be dissipated in the whirling change”. I like the tone that the author gives that we should not only look to the future, but also the past, and more importantly, the present. This made me think of still life, which I had mentioned before is a style of art that I very much enjoy. Still life focuses on everyday life in a snapshot of ordinary objects that seem like they may not hold much significance, but can have deep meanings despite not looking as “sophisticated” as a portrait from Rembrandt.
However, our perceptions of design are very different, as the author points out by stating that design is not merely a western construct. It dates back to the stone age (and the author mentions 2001: A Space Odyssey, I love that movie!), meaning that design is a worldwide thing. Something aesthetically pleasing to me can seem mediocre through the eyes of someone viewing it across the world, or not even mediocre, but just not share the same appreciation that I do. After all, as the author said, part of design is communication, and if you cannot communicate something to someone else then they cannot appreciate your design. If I made a still life photo and showed it to someone, they may not like it because even though I’ve made something from our own living world, I failed to communicate properly with my target audience.
To me, design is a lot like beauty: It is in the eye of the beholder. Although that statement is cliche, I believe it to be true. Somebody’s newborn baby is the most precious and beautiful thing in the world to a mother and father, but perhaps to a nurse, who has gone through helping mothers with childbirth for years on end, the baby may just look like any other. Or, she could still find that baby beautiful, because, as the author said, design is based on understanding. She can understand how the mother must be feeling and see the beauty in the child, despite the fact that the child may be covered in feces and other fluids.
The philosophy of design is something that the author touches on, and I’m glad they do. I myself sometimes wondered, “Why did these really old buildings still have distinctive patterns and such on them?” But then, I suppose that (as the article states as well), humans do find joy in designs and aesthetics, not matter what time period we are in. Did the stone age hunter gatherers arrange their berries in a certain way, and paint their weapons and faces? They did, they still appreciated their own form of aesthetics and art, which can be proven with cave drawings. No matter how far back we go, humans always want to have fun with things, implementing their own patterns and visually pleasing designs. Even if something has no practical purpose, we still care about it, it is just how humans are made. Although it clearly states in a paragraph titled “The origin of Design” and claims that the idea of “design” was created only 150 years ago, I disagree. If the article defines design as something that is based on communication and understanding while dealing with the world around us and using that as the canvas as well as the paintbrush, surely design was thought up by someone earlier than John Ruskin and William Morris.