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1/07/2009

New York Times Micheal Cannell Agrees with Studio ‘g’- Design loves a Depression

I am not sure I got universal agreement from my previous posting about feeling optimistic even though times are getting harder. I agree there is a lot to be negative about and but I still think that this is a positive time to be in design and Micheal Cannell of the New York Times agrees.   I his Jan 3rd article titled “Design Loves a Depression” he writes:

The pain of layoffs notwithstanding, the design world could stand to come down a notch or two — and might actually find a new sense of relevance in the process. That was the case during the Great Depression, when an early wave of modernism flourished in the United States, partly because it efficiently addressed the middle-class need for a pared-down life without servants and other Victorian trappings…

“American designers took the Depression as a call to arms,” said Kristina Wilson, author of “Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design During the Great Depression” and an assistant professor of art history at Clark University. “It was a chance to make good on the Modernist promise to make affordable, intelligent design for a broad audience.”There is a reason she and others are optimistic: however dark the economic picture, it will most likely cause designers to shift their attention from consumer products to the more pressing needs of infrastructure, housing, city planning, transit and energy. Designers are good at coming up with new ways of looking at complex problems…

I especially appreciate the prediction about the pressing need for housing, city planning, etc…..a true call to arms for Landscape Architects and Urban Planners and related designers. I hope you are feeling more positive now…

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