Saturday, February 2, 2008

art vs design.....ill get the wine and brie


ART - the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

DESIGN - to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for a work to be executed, esp. to plan the form and structure of.

Throughout my art academic career, I've always viewed the assignment of defining art or design both extremely redundant, yet incredibly interesting. One of my favorite things to do is to ask my parents to define what art is, now there is a show worth watching.

I suppose it is necessary to have some semblance of a line between what art is as opposed to design in order to have it fit within the rest of acadamia and professionalism. The common belief, in my opinon, is that the artist is free to use whatever materials to express whatever emotions about whichever content they wish, whereas, the designer must do these things under the pretense of restrictions placed upon them by employers or clients to accomplish more practical goals.

The reality of it, I feel, is that to make art and to design just means "to produce". Whether a doctor discovers a cure for cancer, or I make a kickass cup of coffee, its really all subject to being called "art" or "design" or "innovation" or "discovery". (yea, my coffee is that good).

But design isnt always a good thing, as it is so glorified most of the time. What about the H-bomb, or Hummers, or the new KFC thing where they mix mashed potatoes and corn and whatever else....ew.

As Peter Parker says: "With great power comes great responsibility". and now you know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Response to Design=Heart?

This article raises some interesting questions for designers on a very basic level. Is the root of design to seduce the masses into buying commodities, or can it be something that creates a deeper sense of outreach that taps into the "je ne se quai" of humanity and spark a real flame? Just because a work of successful layouts, color combinations, and typography might move cd's off a shelf does not mean that it is relevant and meaningful. I like to think that design can transcend its basic goal of aesthetic and become something more like poetry that truly moves the individual.

I agree with the writer (Sienicki) that designers don't necessarily believe in nothing. I think that many of them have lost sight of their personal motives in the wake of corporate driven ones. In my humble opinion, I feel that designers and artists have a responsibility to use their powers for good instead of evil. In other words, we know how to reach large numbers of people through the tools of communication, but few consider the potential for larger purpose or opportunity. It sort of goes back to the idea that sex sells, but it may have negative effects on the psycology of its viewers, so are we really willing to screw (no pun intended) with everyone's mind to sell beer?
We are not a mass of consumers, we are human beings with individual thoughts and desires. I see an outcry in our pop culture for meaning, truth, beauty and reality. When someone cannot miss one episode of the bachelor or dancing with the stars, but could care less about the war in iraq, I guess I become a bit worried about the engine called capitalism and its ability to anethetize us with products and meaningless, unrealistic drama.

Anyway, I digress. I suppose it is up to concious designers to encourage and set a standard for the rest of the industry. Yes, I use my skills to make money and build a career, but I must also learn to evaluate each job and consider the "who" and "why". SO MUCH time, energy, and money is spent to market and sell stuff (and successfully I might add), but what if it was used to solve real worldy problems, and not just because money could be made selling hybirds, but because it is what is right, and human.