Saturday, September 17, 2005

AIGA Design Conference (2005) - The Desire to Create

While common themes in presentations this week abound, I have been taken aback by many presenters discussing how individuals who create and design find personal power and meaning in the act of creation. This is particularly surprising, since many of the same presenters are discussing design’s larger role in society, politics, and culture and calling for responsible, altruistic action. It is not easy to resolve this potential discrepancy between minute-to-minute individual motivation and large scale social responsibility, but I believe there is magic in the synergy.

In presentations today, Citizen-Designer Milton Glaser suggested that designers (including himself) do what they do because they feel compelled to create things. I believe he implied here that most designers aren't driven because they like to solve problems, make money, or work with good clients, but because they like to make stuff. It is the act of creation.

Nicholas Negroponte talked about the MIT Media Lab having a mantra of "Demo or Die," then suggesting that creating objects serves as the Lab's medium for discussion.

Finally, Bill Strickland showed for his Manchester Craftsman's Guild and Bidwell Training center how "art is our portal out of poverty."

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