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“Design and Social Life” by Ellen Lupton Essay (Article Review)

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Updated: Jun 7th, 2022

The design was always indissolubly tied with social life. In contrast to artists, who preferred to create their masterpieces alone, designers were always consumer-oriented in order to make their projects competitive. It was always important for designers how their projects were perceived by society. In order to be successful designers always collaborated with clients, producers, and people of art. “Design has always been a social activity, arising in response to a problem, opportunity, or circumstance in the world”. (Lupton par. 6).

In the contemporary world of computer technologies and the web industry designers, cerate not only completed objects of consumption but also instruments that people use for work. In such a way, people who use the products of designers work are not just consumers of goods, but in a certain matter collaborators of this project.

Last time it may be observed such tendency as a collaboration of designers, or even of design teams. In the modern world of rapidly developing technologies, team working has more chances for success in comparison with working alone. Many designers form partnerships not only for purpose of labor division and thoughts exchange. The high advantage of a successful business team is an opportunity to create public opinion, persuading customers that only their projects are worth buying.

One of the peculiarities of modern design tendencies is the wide expanse of design technologies. Especially it deals with the sphere of computer and internet communication. Creating its own blog or webpage, an internet user becomes a designer. This very software, which is used for this blog creation, and which is the product of a design team, now allows an ordinary user to feel like a designer itself. “Just as professional designers want to become authors, publishers, builders, and fabricators, members of the so-called “general public” want to try their own hands at designing spaces, making furniture, building Web sites, editing video, modifying software, and so on.” (Lupton par.15).

Life does not stand still, and the ideas pointed out in the given article have a tendency to widen. Nowadays, it is practically impossible to imagine a designer who does not use specialized software in his work. The development of modern software I now a big business. The contemporary function of design is to provide conditions for commercialization. A huge amount of purchases is performed nowadays by means of internet shops. The distributor is highly interested in the better quality of his site design, and in easy to use interface, as it is obvious, that these facts increase the competitiveness of his product.

I think that now it is possible to say, that design is merged with digital technologies. A common thread running through the essay of Ellen Lupton is the tendency of cooperation of designers and developers with consumers. This tendency is especially emphasized nowadays. For instance, such widely known software as Photoshop is a classic example of it. A professional photographer is not considered to be an expert if he does not use it in his work. People without artistic education are able to create masterpieces using this software. At the same time, neither the photographer nor the artist does not know the inner key of this soft, as it is hidden from users. While the designer, who has taken part in this software development, may not know all the peculiarities of its usage and is not able to create such masterpieces, as the artist does. It even may occur, that this very designer comes to the photographers studio to take a photo. In such a way they interchange their roles, a customer becomes a designer and vice versa. Therefore, the circle is closed. As Lupton says at the end of the article “Design builds and participates in society. Every designer is a citizen, and every citizen is, to some degree, a designer.” (par.32).

Works Cited

Lupton, Ellen 2009, Design and social life. Web. 2015.

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