Reading General Knowledge by Stephen Bayley, 2000. Designed by London-based Graphic Thought Facility, the book is a collection of Bayley’s badass essays about design in context and in flux. In his essay ‘Taste’ there is a passage titled ‘Whatever happened to ‘good’ design’ which is worth mentioning. It puts to rest the misunderstanding between design and taste. Without being overt about it, the passage also highlights the widening gap between how designers see ‘design’ and how everyone else sees it:"As I write, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are engaged in tracing the descent of a word that once signified an honorable vocation. While they work, ‘designer’ declines even further. A lurid concoction of narcotics, hallucinogens and amphetamines was recently and witlessly described by The Guardian as a ‘designer’ drug. Someone recently started calling Perrier, ‘designer’ water. Now anything offered for sale that is irrelevant, matt black, expensive or just plain freaky weird is sold as a designer this or a designer that. So, a vocational term for a dignified profession, which includes Vitruvius, Christopher Wren, Thomas Sheraton, Henry Ford and Eric Gill, has been debased to a slap-on epithet of no real meaning to join other dead or dying labels like ‘de luxe’, ‘executive’ and ‘turbo.’”

Reading General Knowledge by Stephen Bayley, 2000. Designed by London-based Graphic Thought Facility, the book is a collection of Bayley’s badass essays about design in context and in flux. In his essay ‘Taste’ there is a passage titled ‘Whatever happened to ‘good’ design’ which is worth mentioning. It puts to rest the misunderstanding between design and taste. Without being overt about it, the passage also highlights the widening gap between how designers see ‘design’ and how everyone else sees it:

"As I write, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are engaged in tracing the descent of a word that once signified an honorable vocation. While they work, ‘designer’ declines even further. A lurid concoction of narcotics, hallucinogens and amphetamines was recently and witlessly described by The Guardian as a ‘designer’ drug. Someone recently started calling Perrier, ‘designer’ water. Now anything offered for sale that is irrelevant, matt black, expensive or just plain freaky weird is sold as a designer this or a designer that. So, a vocational term for a dignified profession, which includes Vitruvius, Christopher Wren, Thomas Sheraton, Henry Ford and Eric Gill, has been debased to a slap-on epithet of no real meaning to join other dead or dying labels like ‘de luxe’, ‘executive’ and ‘turbo.’”

  1. michelechampagne posted this