a young designer’s thoughts
a young designer’s thoughts
Since leaving my country and moving on my own, I experienced a sense of being free and being de-rooted at the same time. This mentality impacted my design and led me to believe that each designer has specific core values that shape their practice and form a manifesto-like identity. For me, this DNA is an acronym of Decentralised Design, Narratives, and Archiving.
Design has been a white man's world for many decades. Nowadays, more and more designers are changing this narrative by including their own identity in the works they produce, participating in the larger cause of demodernizing the industry. By adopting a personal viewpoint to design, they are shifting the center of design from Silicon Valley-owned programs, hardware, and mentality to a more diverse, more international-centered practice. For me, decentralized design means challenging the way of forgetting and dismissing different narratives of life; means embracing one's culture and using its baggage not as a burden but as a point of inspiration.
Storytelling is an art-form. It is not necessarily a design art form but it can learn to be if we listen to it carefully. Narratives are stories of collective or individual importance, which are moving through different times. They are not static, they travel from year to ear, from generation to generation. They make you practice a very important skill: listening. As a designer, I consider that listening is a way of bringing balance to a world that screams for attention. Thinking about helping in telling a story to an audience is part of a graphic design niche of social design I am interested in.
The process of innovation has its eyes looking ahead to an evergreen future. In this process, a lot of history is being lost, deemed obsolete. I believe innovating and archiving shouldn’t exclude each other. Moreover, we can learn to replace forgetting something with forging it in new ways, and archives are a key element for it. Archiving is also a way of looking at certain cultural phenomena, as many countries revolve around their glorious or shameful past which they want to always remember or appear that they will always be sorry for. Change is inevitable, but artists can take the role of aiding or fighting the transition, providing rhetoric that people care to watch and listen to.
Human beings are selfish, and the map of the world will always have a different center, to accommodate this compulsive obsessive disorder all nations have. In this context, design can offer space for exploration. The exploration of stories, of human structures called communities, of power games, or faith and belief, of family, pain, grief, and joy. To archive, all this beauty in the state of forgetting is not an option.
The power of designers is the fact that we can be subjective, is that we have an identity, and there is no grid or color scheme to express that. I find this expression of beauty in film. Moving image says something to me that no book or poster can. A movie makes these stories alive, not just because it is an attractive medium that has a billion-dollar industry catering to its popularity, but because film can be a message in itself.
As a designer, I can swim in different waters on decentralized or centralized maps, but I know my native waters, surrounding my made-up manifesto-like island. With this DNA I am looking at design not as a creative tool to solve problems but as a way of self-discovery. Design invites you to get personal, to be vulnerable, to place yourself at the center of your work, to be full of self to the border-line of narcissist abstraction.
The topic I am interested in, and I see as a running header in all my peers’ lives, is how can you be true to your original identity and also be globally oriented to stay relevant in an internet culture which wants you to scream for attention. How design is changing from being universal to being personal, inverted inwards to serve the designer's needs of discovering its identity and position in life and in the work field.
It is an ocean to navigate.