28 January 2008

Four speakers debate the future of design

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Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic of the International Herald Tribune, chaired a debate last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about the future of design.

Other participants were Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Hilary Cottam, who develops design solutions to problems in education, health care and other public services as co-founder of the London-based agency Participle; and John Maeda, the digital design star and newly appointed president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), have to say about the future of design.

The brief was simple: identify three themes that, you believe, will define design in the future.

Here is what they came up with:

Alice Rawsthorn

  • designing for the underprivileged majority
  • dematerialisation
  • guiltless consumption

Paola Antonelli

  • 3D printing
  • the yearning for privacy
  • translating the advances in science and technology into things we need or want

Hilary Cottam

  • addressing the big social issues of our time
  • tackling social problems through mass collaboration
  • policy making

John Maeda

  • moral responsibility
  • simplicity
  • appreciating the beauty of the everyday objects and places

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