Must We Question Everything?


The short answer? 

Damn Right We Must!


I have been thinking about the future


I know. Deep right?


The future seems to be on everyone’s minds.

What will happen? What will our future look like? Is it like Tomorrowland with the white sleek landscape? Or Minority Report where every choice is made before we even know it?


Okay. So lets talk about the future of Product Design. Where on earth do we start? Sustainability, Consumerism, Politics? I have found that there are so many aspects of this field that can be explored.

I seem to be questioning why things are done, does this look foolish of me as I am only a student of the field.

Not yet a master, not even a degree to my name.

A voice, not an entitled voice, a no one.

I look at what I am talking about within my thesis, sustainability and the future of us. Humans. I am looking at how consumerism is effecting us all, the planet. I then take a look at the student, ME, and I see boundaries being set within my field. I think. Does this truly confirm the narrow minded approach to design. Has this field been taken over from the guys in black suits, the money guys?

Is that all that matters? Money.

When I think of product design I think of inventors. Innovators. Creative minds coming together to form a better world for those around us..writing stories for us, the consumer, to interact with and form our own opinions on.

To Quote Anthony Dunne in Hertzian Tales

‘The aesthetic potential of the narrative space centred on the consumer product has received surprisingly little attention from artists and writers and even less from designers’

We have the ability to become story tellers!

We can shape our world yet we are stuck redesigning the outer casing of a  damn hot glue gun

(It was the first thing that came to mind, I apologise)

(I am also questioning whether I am able to swear on this thing or not…I may update you on that)

Why are we not taking control of what potential there is?

I feel as though product design may have slipped into the same repetitive cycle of redesigning and I for one am not too happy about that.

Consumerism has become such a key factor for design in the 21st century that it is scary to think about how badly this could damage our society in say 20 to 30 years. Constant consuming and throwing away what is left, it just isn’t good for us.

What can we do to stop this never-ending cycle of self harm?

I believe that the problem is and always will be with innovation.

Not the major things, the once a year big stories that come out about a brand new technology that will save us from eternal damnation but the small things.

We need to break from the mindset of

‘this is too difficult, give me something that will make it easier’


‘I am bored of this, I need something new to play with’

Why do we buy into a product that is 20% faster than the previous model, looks slimmer, has some bright colours that will keep you busy whilst your bank account gets drained from all of those tokens you bought on that crappy game.

If it aint broke, dont fix it!

Words I can live by.

If a problem is solved by a product then job done.

We move on to the next problem.

We must not stick around focusing on the same problem that has had countless face lifts whilst the same 50 year old skeleton and organs are unchanged.

Designing for the future is limited by what is happening right now. With our current environmental problems it means we must design to ensure sustainability. Imagine what we would be designing for if that was not a problem. We are slowed down by those around us who have driven us to near unsustainability.

This needs to change.

But how? How do they change?

I believe that the answer is from the source, essentially, US. As students of Product design we are the individuals gathering all of the information that can possibly allow us to have a successful career. We are taught about industry and how we are essentially prostitutes to ‘The Man’ and we all know that he is EVERYWHERE!

We get given a brief, we stick to it and produce a product. NEXT

We get given a brief, we stick to it and produce a product. NEXT

We get given a brief, we stick to it and produce a product. NEXT

We get given a brief, we stick to it and produce a product. NEXT

We get given a brief, we stick to it and produce a product. NEXT

Can you see how repetitive this could become.

As students we can push the brief, explore what is asked and create something exciting from within, always questioning, always demanding answers. We must look for the gaps in what is written, we must go against what is normal or acceptable. We must create questions for those who see our creations.

They must always question.

This seems to have come off as a mix between a rambling and an aggressive conversation with myself.

Perhaps better explained by Todd (

I believe he may have worded his perspective a little better than I have worded mine.

Never Conform.