Vancouver Design Week (Part 4)
Defining Design’s Value
Our discussion group (by table) was made up of a design educator, three design students, and me. Our job was to define the value of design in a sentence; we came up with this:
Design’s worth lies in the the understanding it creates, the communication it aids, and the opportunity to affect social, ecological, and economic change.
I can’t say it’s unique (many of the other groups came up with similar statements), but I think it says everything quite succinctly.
Ashwini Deshpande of Elephant Design was really amazing. Elephant does anything and everything having to do with design.
I had a chance to talk to Ashwini and her husband and business partner, Ashish, over drinks before Dinner with a Side of Design; they are eternally curious about the world. We spoke about national pastimes, language, food, environment, and more. At this point I had no idea that she was a speaker or who they were, and I have to say I was a little awestruck when I found out.
Two things, quite unrelated to each other, that I remember most from Ashwini’s talk were the parable of the monk’s new robe, in illustration of sustainability, and the Go Mechanical Charger. I’m going to paraphrase the parable mostly because I’m lazy, but my scribble describes it pretty well./p
Upon requesting a new robe from the buddha, the monk is asked what will happen to his old robe: as each robe wears out, it in turn becomes a sheet, pillowcase, floor mat, mop, and lamp wick.