Future Wellbeing: Smart Design or Burnt Socio-Economic Policies

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Crisp, Alan R; Arthur, Leslie
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
Section: Wellbeing
Page(s): 519-524
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


This paper identifies and challenges the philosophies of contemporary design paradigms particularly those associated with the new ‘buzz’ term ‘smart design’; now synonymous with product design; and proposes new paradigms and future directions for design and designers and particularly design teaching within Higher Education [HE]. Design evokes debate, rhetoric and confusion, particularly when coupled to ‘smart’. One questions, what is it, which professions practise it and what should its and their aim and philosophy be? The United Kingdom is currently driven, relative to design, by Cox [1] and government’s drive towards a knowledge economy developed from an economic period described as ‘industrial creativity’. One questions, is this direction for the future correct? Herbert Simon, 1969, proposed ‘design is devising courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones’. Accepting Simon’s theory integrated with Papanek’s [2] asserting that ‘design transcends all’, and that the problems facing all are of a social and economic nature i.e. mass consumption and consumerism, elements of socio-economic disruption and discourse as described by Lash and Urry ‘disorganised capitalism’ [3]; then this paper argues that ‘smart design’ and therefore ‘smart designers’ should be taking an ethical and responsible stance and in conjunction with that stance further develop the philosophies of ‘slow design’, ‘inclusive design’ and particularly when pertinent to the problems of obsolescence, e.g., mobile phones, they should cross the boundaries into ‘Manu-service design’ to solve problems that are inherently seen as socio-economic, moral and environmental. To take this new direction and change existing environs world-wide into acceptable ones, new thoughts and frame works for design curricula are required and some are proposed through this paper.

Keywords: Smart, capitalism, ethical, responsible, design paradigm, curriculum


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.