“Allusion of mastery”

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Design Observer is a smart, well-written blog about design. It critically examines the many facets of the design world and the world at large, highlighting both successes and failures.

Below is a link to an interview by Debbie Millman of William Drenttel and Julie Lasky. Debbie is president of design at Sterling Brands and president of the AIGA. William is editorial director of Design Observer and Julie is editor of Change Observer, a blog within Design Observer that discusses design and social innovation.

In their discussion they talk about the “end of print” and how our technology infused society creates an “allusion of mastery”. The idea that information is literally at your fingertips (with the internet) and anyone can retrieve and contribute that information is well… exciting and scary at the same time. There is a lowering of standards when everyone is contributing content. Refinement of information becomes difficult, and I fear lost in the swirl of chaotic information. With the end of print there is this feeling of abandonment of materiality. To me and I’m sure many others, there is still something about a crisp magazine or newspaper that is pleasant to touch and hold in my hands. However, technology makes everything easy and portable.

Their discussion goes further to debate how the field of and even simply the word ‘design’ is now ubiquitous. With technology anyone can be a designer… or so they think. Not only that, designers are being trained differently. They have boarder skill-sets coming out of school because they have to be able to design in and manage a variety of situations and companies.


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