Saturday, 17 March 2012

Consumer - Curator

Lidwwij Edelkoorts recent article Handmade ‘When Design and Craft meet’ examines our changing world of design. How design has evolved from function to d├ęcor, through to innovation and finally global branding. Now we find ourselves drowning in a world of stuff, and an over saturated world of design. It presents the question ‘what is the role of the designer today’?

‘Today, we experience a need for reflection and we feel a need to rethink the (non)sense of design’ (Edelkoorts)

Globalisation has brought about uniformity and boredom of product and brand. We now long and seek for an individual and community identity, localised product and craft. A great example of this is my local market in Brixton, South London, which has been regenerated back to colourful, thriving, artistic bustling market that locals have had a major input in. Full of small run businesses with food places and individual craft shops that give’s the market a lively identity and a model for other inner cities communities. When you spend your money (The Brixton pound!) you feel like you are investing back into your community and not a globalised chain, it feels good too!

Edelkoort concludes with the future of design being the consumer becoming the ‘curator’ of their products. This made me reflect on my project ‘Slow Grow’ where I invite the consumer to be central to the design process. In this case it was Mary, an old age pensioner who is passionate about her allotment in Fulham which in turn contributes to her wellbeing and happiness, the flowers she grows become a print for her own shirt to wear.
Surely this is ‘consumer curated design’? Reflecting over the last 5 years my role as a designer has now changed immensely with the needs of design. I act more as a facilitator to enable consumer center design with the aim to create a more sustainable design approach. For me this is the future of design, to work and create together local design identities by sharing skills.

The People’s Print is a unique platform that explores and tests new textile ideas through collaboration, participatory design, slow & fast, new and old techniques and process’s. It is the voice of change that Edelkoort speaks about.

To experience The People’s Print philosophy join us at our next workshop at the V&A ‘The Great British Floral’ to create your own unique floral ready to print and ready to wear.

Melanie Bowles - The People's Print