Understanding Meaningful Design
What Makes Design Matter?
The world doesn't need more "design" or "designers". We live in a culture that has progressed to the state where plentifulness has transgressed into excessiveness. We are constantly being stimulated by a barrage of products & advertisements, all with the purpose of achieving a state of so called "happiness". It is ironic that in order to achieve this state you must rely on the products being sold to you. If you look into your past year and think about your best moments, they most likely did not come from any objects that you purchased. Instead it came from an experience, most likely including people or things in your life other then yourself. So if the moments that provide true fulfillment and happiness come from meaningful experiences, than why is our culture so dependent on materialistic values?
With in my personal process to better understand what in my life is significant and of actual meaning, the question consistently posed is, "why?". This simple question is used to better understand almost every encounter I come across. By determining the root cause of why something is meaningful to yourself or to others, you are presented an opportunity to develop true meaningful insight. These insights are the driving force for all decisions in life, including design.
Design is simple. Great, meaningful design, is much more complex and almost non-exinsistant in todays culture. The ability to achieve, "great design", is only capable once the deeper cause of issues is understood. That form of greater understanding can only come by insights driven from real people. Without these insights design lacks real meaning, causing a disconnect between people and design. That disconnect stems from the reasoning behind the existence of that product. These designs may help alleviate some symptoms of the problem, but fall short when truly connecting to the necessities a person has in their life. This is surface level design, this happens when you target the symptoms instead of creating a better understanding of a persons real needs. By forming connections to real people this provides crucial criteria which will be the guiding force for all design.
Understanding, "Why?", what you're doing should exist will act as a catalyst for actual meaning in the development of what a product is or what it should be.