I read an interview recently that I cant get out my head. The article is titled "Jon Kolko on Design That Changes Human Behavior" and its from 6.15.10. Here's the snippet that snagged me:
What are you sick of? - I think we've gotten to the point of design where it's no longer OK to say that it's all worth doing. I think that a whole lot of people dedicating their careers to making really beautiful tables and chairs and lamps when the same amount of energy could be set to other problems. I think it's time for us to start having a conversation and say, "you know that project, that lamp, that chair, is not worth doing; do something else."
I want to create meaningful work. Work that helps people - that does more than just "look pretty" and boast my ego momentarily because other people think its pretty too. This pushes me to do unglamorous work that doesn't necessarily come easy to me. This drive to affect and serve humanity pushes me to do something else.
I suppose the article lingers because his response resonates with my own beliefs human effort going to do good and solve real problems vs just making the world a prettier place with nicer chairs.
Dont get me wrong, it makes me a bit jealous of people who can just sit back and create illustrations, advertising, branding ect for a living. I suppose things need to be illustrated and sold, yes. And I enjoy plenty a pretty picture just for the sake of aesthetic therapy, but I also think that all design can be pushed to be and do more. And that the intent behind a design endeavor can yield something that truly benefits humanity.