Christmas is close and whether you need to find a present for Secret Santa in the office or surprise a loved one here’s a list of fun things to gift (or buy for yourself) in different categories and price range.
We already know ethics is important.
The question is: how can you approach ethics when there are no guidelines or frameworks for it inside our companies, or nobody else is interested but you?
While the past post covered general ideas about ethics and the problems faced in our industry this article is focused on practical advice to work towards more ethical outcomes, whatever it is you do.
What we do as creatives is not neutral.
Ethics is a permanent questioning of what is desirable for the good of all and it is unthinkable that creatives do not take part of this. Our work is inherently filled with decisions that in one way or the other will affect another person's life and that is a huge responsibility.
Since design is part of a system, you are subject to external factors like the interests of clients and trends in the industry, and even though we have achieved a recognizable development that makes our lives easier in the last decades there are also questionable consequences, like what we are seeing with data surveillance or dark patterns.
Those strategies may work in relation to the financial goals of the client but it is not the right approach regarding the well-being of the user.
What is then, the right approach when it comes to ethics?
“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
If we analyze this quote, it kind of makes work a bad thing. Something to be avoided or changed by doing what you really love but still separate from the idea of work itself because they appear to be incompatible.
Or, on the other hand, it idealizes the thing you love with the idea that there is no work behind it, which is also not true.
Because actually, work is work, even if it is the thing you love.
But what does the act of work mean?
We try to avoid it: corrosion, wrinkles, or any other signs of aging.
Perhaps as architect Juhani Pallasmaa—author of The Eyes of the Skin—stated, the reason we prefer materials that don’t show age like glass or synthetic plastics is because we don’t want to be reminded of our immortality.
But what if we celebrate the pass of time?
Based on the work of the designer Lex Pott (and as part of the graduate studies I’m taking—a Master in Design through New Materials) we did a workshop at ELISAVA to decode and experiment with the way corrosion works.
First of all, I'd like to say that I feel really grateful for the education I have received in architecture school and that I've had many wonderful teachers. Nevertheless, it's good to question how we do things, and it is in part what this space is all about.
I've been discussing this topic for a long time with friends and colleagues from different countries, researched about the subject, and there are issues that become repetitive in our experiences.
Beauty and aesthetics, as we all know, are an ongoing concern in the world of design and art. But beauty is subjective and hard to define. What you may find beautiful, could be ordinary or even ugly to others. It's deeply linked with emotions and experience.
Isn't it what makes it all more special? Beauty is not a mere surface but a central part of what it means to be human.
The Do-It-Yourself movement is now expanding beyond products to the materials that embody the products themselves.
In comparison to the industrial ones, DIY-Materials are "created through individual or collective self-production practices, often by techniques and processes of the designer's invention. They can be entirely new materials, modified or further developed versions of existing materials".
I had the opportunity to attend a lecture on DIY-Materials by Marta Gonzalez, PhD in Science of Materials and Metallurgic Engineering, and Senior Researcher in Elisava Research, and I'll share an outline of it here, with examples of their applications.