Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2005-06-20

Ipod Sucks....That's right, you heard what I said

Utne's July/August edition features an article about Ipod Nation and how turning on means tuning out the rest of the world. [Not yet posted online]

In summary, the writer points to how the seemingly innocuous little headset has created dissonance in the average commuter's life.

Good design is argued in everything from new product sales to saving the world. I wonder, however, how design can be applied to bring people together rather to pander to the individual's taste and preferences?

I do not own an Ipod - or a cell phone for that matter. When I travel, I actually enjoy watching people, listening to conversations, talking to my partner - participating in the community, however transient that community happens to be for that 1/2 hour train ride.

One of the driving forces behind designers such as Bruce Mau and the creative visionaries at undesign is the use of design to create better communities and cultivate social responsibility. Designing cities to be more accessible, with green space and green energy, and with community in mind, definitely happens on a macro level.

But I am left to wonder what product designers, especially in terms of new technology, are doing to bridge the gap between individual needs and community connectedness. Even the blogging and podcasting culture is 98% narcissistic.

Right now product design seems pretty rooted in the "Me" rather than the "We."

Anyone have examples to prove otherwise?
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