From Fashion to Housewares, Are We in a Decades-long Design Rut? By Kurt Anderson (Vainty Fair)
This essay is fascinating and incredible - basically Anderson suggests that throughout the past design has wildly changed every 20 years, but not much has changed since 1992. He says some of that may have to do with radical technological, political and economic changes have allowed us to focus on the past instead of innovating new designs:
Why is this happening? In some large measure, I think, it’s an unconscious collective reaction to all the profound nonstop newness we’re experiencing on the tech and geopolitical and economic fronts. People have a limited capacity to embrace flux and strangeness and dissatisfaction, and right now we’re maxed out. So as the Web and artificially intelligent smartphones and the rise of China and 9/11 and the winners-take-all American economy and the Great Recession disrupt and transform our lives and hopes and dreams, we are clinging as never before to the familiar in matters of style and culture.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose has always meant that the constant novelty and flux of modern life is all superficial show, that the underlying essences endure unchanged. But now, suddenly, that saying has acquired an alternative and nearly opposite definition: the more certain things change for real (technology, the global political economy), the more other things (style, culture) stay the same.
This is article is a must read.
On a related note, it has led me to re-think my approach to this blog. I created it to act as a board to post the things which fascinate, amuse and excite me about the world, but recently it has instead devolved into a place where I find a random smattering of things from the internet and post them every day. That’s not my desire and runs counter to my creative and intellectual desires and sensibility. Therefore I will be striving to change my ways by posting:
- Things which I feel are amusing, interesting or relevant, while trying to post less actively nostalgic or back-ward looking
- Things and ideas which are socially relevant or show a new or innovative perspective on the world.
As always, e-mail me if you have any questions/comments or suggestions.