Tommy Papaioannou – June 2016
Design used to be: social, revolutionary, democratic, utilitarian, functional, ergonomic etc. Nowadays form and shape is the beginning and cost and profit is the end of the design process. Design has ended up being: cool, hot, hip, chic, stylish, trendy, must have, Insta-cool, sexy, glamorous, latest etc.
Designers are not educated to consider social and environmental parameters. Young furniture designers are asked to explore and find their own “identity” as being a unique trademark and something distinctive and easily recognisable. Nobody is asked to consider: society, carbon footprint of materials, environmental consequences, product afterlife etc. If formal design education is not offering these insights, how can we expect furniture designers with such sensitivities?
Young furniture designers evolve an “approach” or “philosophy” that often has nothing to offer but what you see. Quite a few times this approach sounds thoughtful and well explored but if it gets analysed and studied, the results show quite the opposite. It is obvious that the “philosophy” is only a “marquee” for a design practice that is happening for all the wrong reasons. So to draw a parallel with a theatrical play or a movie, everything can be perfect. Costumes, scenography, music, lighting, production even performances but the actual play or film is superficial and purposeless.