Gerard McGuickin, October 2013
Trends encourage mass consumerism. They manipulate and exploit both the consumer and, usually, those making these fashionable – ‘trendy’ – products. High streets, retail parks and shopping centres cater almost exclusively to consumable goods. They rely on consumers to be impulsive individuals, taking little time to think about the merits of any purchase. How many consumers reflect: will I actually use this product; do I genuinely want or need it? But when Jamie Oliver is selling them cooking utensils, David Beckham is selling them cologne and Kirstie Allsopp is selling them bedding, well they must be good products, right? Wrong.
Consumer vs user. Are you a consumer of products or a user of products? Are your choices considered, genuine and environmentally-minded? Are you able to make intelligent decisions about design that you buy? Are you aware that whilst everything is design, not everything is good design. Answer yes to these questions and you are clearly a user of design, conscientious in the choices you make.
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