Friday, February 22, 2008

Artsy: DWR's Interview with Yves Behar

This Design Within Reach interview with industrial designer and chair of the industrial design department of California College of the Arts, Yves Behar, has absolutely nothing to do with food. Doesn't even touch on it. But it does address two ideas that sort of fuel the thinking behind this blog (if I'm going to be philosophical about it...which, let's be honest, I always am in the most overthinky sort of way).

Anyway, they are:

1. The absolute interconnectedness of things. Behar says that students today don't approach their studies as specialists, as they did when he was in school (and I don't think he's very old). He says:
This is an exciting time to be studying design. Our role is evolving from being
a stylist to being a problem solver faced with many different challenges.
Students today don't have to specialize in civic design, or sustainable design,
or commercial design. There's so much crossover. They're all part of this
magical toolbox that we should draw from in every project we work on.

This gels nicely with anthropology, really (not a surprise, as anthropologists are increasingly involved in industrial design, to the great benefit of end users) and its consistent with the way I think about the role of food in our lives. It doesn't occupy a narrow space of nourishment or taste or whatever - its impact flows throughout.

2. The ability - necessity, even - to be both a futurist and a humanist at the same time. Actually, to occupy a lot of "-ists" all at once. This might just be another way of saying that specialists are a thing of the past. People who will be most successful as leading thinkers in one discipline are those who can simultaneously hold a lot of different positions in their heads, and draw from a store of knowledge and experience far wider than their individual discipline.

It's a lot of theory for a Friday morning, certainly.

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