Something Julia mentioned briefly in our discussion last Thursday stuck with me, and I wanted to bring it up – basically this notion of the audience or a cultivation of appreciation for aspects of a concept being important for conceptual design to be done at all. Put succinctly, there has to be a place to see these concepts. And moving it out of strictly the academic/curatorial level and into everyday homes breaks whatever barriers or walls of thought are brought in by even those institutions.

Now Julia had said something about the ‘everyday artist’ who works at some job which doesn’t necessarily fit his goals in order to pay the bills, but creates all sorts of artwork in their spare time. I think to make it a bit more specific, it should be someone who does this on the side, not as their job, and they should be ‘un-trained’ (Not have gone to school for it). And what I’m wondering if this sort of amateur level work is somehow necessary for a audience or a culture to build up around these designs.

In each of the other fields that Dunne and Raby bring up I believe this amateur level work is at play to some extent. Graphic Design, Fashion, Film and Game are all pretty obvious. Vehicles and architecture are more about remaking/remodeling than creating from scratch, but still I think the thought is there.

I think we’re beginning to see this in Product design/IT – Notions of everyday design, as explored in Methods, takes in this amateur aspect. Participatory design in a step in the right direction. The Maker Movement is probably the closest and best thing to this amateur product/IT design culture, and it’s growing in leaps and bounds… but still I don’t think it’s quite made the pervasive mark on our everyday to make ‘doing design’ be seen as a thing.

Once it does, or if it can, we as a society can begin to comment on the highfalutin top of the line designs that are only shown at trade shows, research papers, or inaccessible labs. Not to say that the expert opinions need defer to the masses, but at the moment it seems there’s only talk on one side of the table.