As current global situations stand things aren't exactly great. There are uprisings in the Middle East,anti-capitalist protests in the Western world and an uneasy time for anybody within the Eurozone. Is Modernity, and everything fruitful that this wondrous object brings, possibly the root of this demise?
Modernism has somewhat influenced capitalist needs and desires in relation to the way we idolise the aesthetical appearance of objects. To further define this just look at the I Phone/ I Pod/ any Apple product and the aesthetic allure this has on mass consumerism.
I-phone concept: We all want it because it looks good and yet arguably we forfeit functionality.
It is questionable whether this desire to conform to mass production leads to a very vein and benign design process. "There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire." (William Congreve: English Playwright and Poet).
This lack of courage and risk taking leads to a design that aims to please and not serve. The very fact that hardware is held back on the Iphone, albeit old technology, (like a flash camera on the 3G when flash cameras have been around on mobile devices for over 5 years) and then promoting it as a new feature on a new version of the device. This almost disregard for form over function means that we take 2 steps back in a time when we should thrive on innovation. However like lambs to the slaughter (myself included) we consume these products to enhance an image. An image that is led by this need to fit in.
This whole need to fit in and be liked by material worth makes us vulnerable. It makes us vulnerable to the CEO's of these companies, it makes us vulnerable as consumers and makes us vulnerable as human beings. Decisions on purchasing products are made by pumping money into adverts, by misleading the performance of such products, and by making us feel insignificant without this device.
I feel a need to go back to basics. To go back to an age where effort and intuition was rewarded, a time that relied on simplicity and basic human needs. A phone is a phone so therefore it shall call people. A building is a building so therefore it shall cocoon people with a sense of warmth, hygiene and security. If you look at such works from the likes of Buckminster Fuller, that based themselves upon shelter and philanthropic morals, then you will see what I mean. We are all guilty of designing to please, to make money, to get our 'big break', but there must be no greater feeling than to design for humanity, for a cause and for a reason.
I beg you to consider these thoughts as designers, as sculptors of tomorrow, and as the foundation of mass consumerism to think twice before you make it look all nice.