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Design and Waste

By heath - Posted on 17 February 2012

I have gone through long stretches of being an avid FastCompany blog reader. I have read more than enough to see that many in the design industry see design see design with a messiah-like quality. Design will solve all problems. The other day I was contemplating our consumer-oriented culture and happened on a problem for the design community.

Design causes waste. How is this? If we weren't seeing better designed gadgets so often we might care if things lasted. Since we want to replace our stuff so that we can get better designs, we want our stuff to be cheap and even disposable. Can you imagine a mother saving her kitchen utensils to pass down to her daughter or grand-daughter? They wouldn't want them because the ubiquitous peeler had been through 7 design cycles by then. It is even questionable whether or not one would pass down china or silver since there is so often a new design. The same goes for furniture and just about everything those smart little designers get their sharpened pencils on.

I am not saying I like poorly designed objects, I just thing this reveals a principle in the current situation our world is in. It has been cursed. Because of man, God introduced a frustration into the relationship between man and creation. No matter how hard we try to escape sin and its curse, we seem to entangle ourselves in its web. Redemption is our only hope.