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The second DIAlogues Interrogation event for 2014 examined whether technology is actually making us richer? or poorer? Next month’s topic will discuss lifecycle, economy and ethics and whether technology has replaced the idea of longevity and timelessness in our designs.

Our obsessive drive for the latest gadget, the hottest interior fitout and the most in-season outfit has created a throw-away attitude that infiltrates not only the consumer, but the manufacturer, and yes, even us designers. Where a fridge used to last for 20 years plus, evolving technologies, fast changing trends and a need to compete in a global economy means that a fridge only needs to last 3 years, before it is outdated.

Mass-production, enabled by fast evolving technologies, generates a number of concerns and opportunities for the design industry. It also poses some interesting and complex ethical questions around whether we take the moral high-ground, reduce our ecological footprint by designing and manufacturing products that will stand the test of time – or do we jump on the trend wagon and keep reinventing the wheel for short term gains and consistent work flowing through the door?

The economic benefit to the business of design in having a high turnover of product is evident – but at what cost? In our quest to keep up with technology, have we forgotten about the principles of sustainable and ethical design? Can we use technology to produce more environmentally conscious products by bringing manufacturing back to a local level and produce things that are required, when and where they are required?

There is only one way to find out!!

Join us at DIAlogues Interrogation Forum
Tuesday night, 16 September 2014
The Edge – State Library of Queensland.

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Copy courtesy of Design Institute of Australia.


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