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STBY, London
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Design has the power to
help people see in new ways.

Jody Boernhert, Occupy Design, London
  • PS:
    Do designers have the ability to solve social problems?
  • JB:

    I believe designers can help a great deal more than they do at the moment. If image-makers were to use their skills towards helping people develop a more holistic understanding of their place in the world Ė thatís the type of building block that we need to create a better world.

    But, today images function in exactly the opposite way. They function to conceal and impact, to persuade people to buy things rather than help people understand the consequences of the things that they buy.

  • PS:
    Whatís the next step for design?
  • JB:

    I see the potential for a lot of hype around design, but also the potential for design to do socially beneficial things. However, I donít think presently we have the social institutions, nor have we created the capacity within design education, to be self critical about our practice. Too many of the leading institutions, such as the Design Council or Bruce Mau Design, are complicit in the cause of the problem, rather than being interested in the solution.

  • PS:
    What needs to happen in order for designers to start using their skills in a better way?
  • JB:

    Design education is in a sorry state. I donít think we have the right to give anyone a degree if they are not aware of the basic problems that designers face. These problems are ecological; to do with energy supply and you have to be aware of the political struggles of the fields you are going to be working in.

I'm on an adventure - to explore the limits of design's ability to solve social problems, big and small. To do this I attempted to solve 50 problems in 50 days using design. I also spent time with 12 of Europe's top design firms.