Super Powers

28 Oct

Design is a powerful force. It combines language, image, sound, emotion, experience, and information to it’s viewer. It’s probably one of the most diverse art forms, and because people interact with it daily, it’s a large part of our visual and experiential world.

But with great power comes great responsibility. Good designers are aware of what’s happening around them, aware of cultural changes, social issues, and trending topics. It may seem as if it is our responsibility to help better the world through our design.

How does a young designer begin this journey to socially responsible design? Well it may not happen at the 9-5 grind, but one thing you can do is read. Really read though, comprehend what you are reading and be informed on the issues facing society today. Read opinions on both sides, and don’t get all of your information from Wikipedia (although some is ok because some of the people contributing are actually pretty legit).

Use your voice and your power as a designer to help others become aware. The gen y’s and x’s have a short attention span. They don’t read, but skim content and get the jist of the article and are on to the next thing. When that specific topic comes up in discussion, they then feel they have enough information to spout an opinion on the topic. Most of the time, they are ill-informed about the topic. So we have all of these young, valuable minds running around spouting grand ideas and opinions on topics they have an acute knowledge about, which in turn doesn’t solve any issues.

Research, and really do the work that research involves, none of this high school skimming bullshit that we’ve all accepted as research. to research is to become somewhat of an expert on the topic of your search.

Then what to do with this knowledge? Share it. Beware, some people may not like your opinion or skew on the issue, but share the knowledge. Post an infographic on your blog, submit it to an online blog, make a poster and hang it in your room. These eye catching visuals get people curious and talking about these issues. They are the seed that is planted that creates the discussion.

Being part of a young and powerful generation, I only hope that we make things better and not worse for generations to come. The power of communication and design is underestimated. So may the force be with you or something like that.

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