Fast – Slow – Society

Would we know what joy is, without having experienced sadness?
What does a solution mean without a problem?
Can happiness exist without desire?

You need one to appreciate the other. Opposites are odd pairs: they help us to acknowledge what we have, and they require the right interface to find balance. If we are just focusing on one and ignoring the other, we become meaningless.
The industrial revolution has put mankind on a high speed train and we had to adapt ourselves to the demands and possibilities that came along with the system. Now, global problems surround us, but we don’t seem to respond. The rules and patterns we live by seem so natural and logical, that we don’t question why they are there, how they came into existence and if they are necessary.
Are we captured in a bubble, oblivious to the truth of our history and our own being?
If we are disconnected from ourselves, then how to reconnect?
It seems that individualism rules in our society, where we drift around on solitary islands avoiding contact with any other. I believe that the confrontation from which we are escaping is exactly what we need in order to reclaim people’s sense of place and retrieve the patterns of memories and experiences.

We think and behave according to the cultural system with which we have grown up and we tend to assume that everyone has the same behaviour and logic as our own. In fact, logic happens to be an invention of Western society and isn’t used in the same way in other parts of the world.

We are all different and the first thing we need to do is accept each other’s differences, instead of judging them. Possibly we could overcome this, by placing ourselves more often in intercultural situations to learn to see ourselves as others see us, in order to get more understanding about our own being and the other (Hall 1989).

Our own culture -as any culture- has flaws, but we accept them, because that is what we have grown up with. The educational system of Western society is linear and therefore limits us in how we think. We are taught that the rules and schedules we have matter. The system requires us to specify our talents and emphasises status and competition before freedom of expression and diversity. This limitation in creativity and talents, also restricts our capacity to find solutions.
Our fast society might need a different pace to engage oneself and another. People get more inventive when they are challenged and placed in unknown situations (Fuller 1981). Designed interventions in our daily life, could bring a pause & reflect.

What is happening now in the Design World, is that business is being exposed to art expressions and art is being commercialised; this creates new situations, interpretations and interfaces. I have chosen to use this occasion to design forms of social engagement. I can’t change people and I can’t change behaviour. However, I can create places in space, and I can create exercises that convey learning moments, stimulate reflection and activate awareness. All of these, I hope will bring about positive behaviour and empowerment to the individual.

In times like these, when a worldwide economical crisis has suddenly emerged, it is an opportunity for us to open our eyes and genuinely see what is there; it is a chance to reform, rather than hastily attempting to take control by way of old patterns. There is a reason why things accumulate – it is time for change.

Hall, ET 1989, Beyond Culture, Anchor Books Editions, New York.

Fuller, RB 1981, Critical Path, St Martin’s Press, New York.


Design Sucks

speaks for itself.

Thanks Renata for visualizing this problem (and creating a solution)

Written by goodindeed in: found,fun,good work | Tags: , , , ,

Knot Really

I am working on a test project now, which if it works as planned will be a BIG project. Let’s see if my theory can work in practice. I have and am collecting problems to see a) what is on people’s mind b) offer a moment of contemplation and self reflection c) if I can place these problems as challenges on a platform. This is at the moment the blog knot really.

I hope to create an open social dialogue. Where I will come up with design solutions and offer people the inititive to visualize answers and solutions as well. Can I connect people’s problem to each other so they’ll both benefit from it. Can I give local actions as a solution to the problems people send in, which would result in a contribution to society and the person feeling better about himself.

Anyway ideas are spinning and thwirling through my mind. On monday I plan to do an intervention in the public space related to these problems- see if I can get the viral working- and meanwhile I am exploring this idea to its limits and beyond!

If you want to send in problems/solutions in word or picture please send it to and/or post comments at KNOT REALLY…bring it on!

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