A personal exercise in 2018
+ Design is Hippocratic.
First, do no harm. What impact do our creations have? How do they affect those who produce, consume and dispose of them? What’s their environmental impact? How do they affect the economic, political and social system? Surely no designer has as a goal to create a useless or hazardous project. Yet, here we are in 2018 with an island of plastic floating through our oceans and the first 3D printed gun.
+ Everything has an expiration date.
It is amazing how much work you can achieve during the last week of a project, we all know it, and there are always things you could have done better if you had only had one more week before deadline; however, it is healthy to put an end to things. All the stages come to an end in a project, in your professional and personal life. Take what you have learned in each stage and apply it consciously to your next project, let lessons be useful.
+ You are not going to invent the wheel, and that's fine.
No project starts from zero. We all carry an infinite amount of information in our heads, that will invariably have an impact in our creations. Do not try to create things from nothing, put to work the information and experiences you’ve lived, stand on the shoulders of the ones that came before you.
+ Put a pebble in your shoe.
There is nothing more dangerous for a person than being in the comfort zone. Feeling comfortable with where you are and what yo do will lead you nowhere. Look for discomfort and you will always be in the quest of improvement.
+ Design is political.
I know it is difficult to assimilate, but we do not live in a bubble and it is necessary to know what’s happening around us. What laws were approved this month in the senate? Why does gas prices rise? These things affect the world you pretend to design for.
+ Stop talking (only) about design.
I won’t deny it’s fun to talk about the Nendo latest project, but for God's sake, let not that be your only topic of conversation. Surround yourself with people with whom you can discuss politics, science, economics, literature and music. Give yourself the opportunity to meet people who do not live in your world, and learn from them.
+ Do not be a martyr.
There is nothing worse for the spirit than complaining about everything that goes wrong, we must understand that all professions have their difficulties, not just design. What is the point of the complaints if you do not change your actions? See a problem, analyze it and solve it. A client did not accept your proposal? Did you wonder why? Did you knock on a door and nobody answered? There are a thousand more doors. Actions, not complaints.
+ Design is real.
Do not create a myth around your own profession. Understand, practice and communicate design as an element present in everyone's life, not just this glamorous idea that lives inside magazines and blogs. Understand design as something more than a simple object, see it as the system that improves lives, creates jobs and revolutionizes culture. Understand design as history being written.