Responsible Design


Design can be considered to be frivolous, branding is just a way of persuading people to purchase what they don’t want and cant afford?  How can we as designers and design managers balance the demands for responsible and commercial design.

Is Responsible design the same as Good design? Good Design HAS to be responsible, right? Whether it is to do with the environment, functionality or even the way it looks. If it looks great, you have fulfilled the responsibility of satisfying the aesthetic demands of the consumer. This is because when is comes to commercial design, all that is taken into consideration is the way the product looks! So as designers/design managers we might as well make our products desirable! Of course, keeping in mind its function, sustainability and ‘eco-sensitivity’. If products are only desirable with no function/sustainability then we may as well term them as pieces or art.

In order to be able to create responsible deisign, a good way may be to invoke the sense of opening things up, start with the basics to understand what is it that make a design ‘good’ or ‘responsible’. I came across this project by an Italian designer, Martino Gamper ( who made 100 chairs in 100 days to understand what messages the designs gave. He didn’t take into consideration the function or the aesthetics and did it to strike a new way of design-thinking with spontaneity. I used this as an example so that we could ask ourselves does responsible design have to be seen in the outcome only? Or should the process of getting to it be ‘responsible’ as well?

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