Monday, 21 December 2015

When design becomes art

Brian Eno once said said something that goes along the lines of "Art is everything you don't have to do" and to me, that makes a lot on sense but he did also create an album called 'Music for Airports', so who knows what the hell this man is about.

As I said, Brian Eno said that art is everything you don't have to do, it's everything we don't need and that's what sets it free. It's expression because we don't need it. We need water, so it's just a matter of living by drinking it, but we don't need Emin's un-made bed, so it's art—well I mean, it's art by description but I'd just call it crap to be honest.

Something that I've been wanting to write about for a while is the debate of design becoming art, and it may not even be a debate, it may just be the ranting of a cynical design student. You see, design is in almost everything we own, and whether you'll agree or not, we need design to function and progress. Everything you own and everything you want to own, has been designed, and it's quite likely you own or want this item because of it's design.

Design is creating something artistic for a purpose, it is purposeful creativity and as I've explained before, Art is anything we actually don't need, it's pure and direct expression. So I feel that I'm seeing a problem, within current trends where people are beginning to turn design into art. By this I mean adding a colour to make it pretty, rather than for a purpose; choosing a typeface for it's looks rather than it's suitability and making something to follow an artistic trend rather than suiting the clients wishes.

When you design anything, it's important to know you are under commission for someone else. You are creating this design for a purpose—whereas art is created without purpose.
So when design becomes art is when you are influencing the design to suit yourself, rather than the client, and this is where I feel both a problem and an interesting solution both lye.

Personally, I think it's a serious problem choosing aesthetics over purpose or suitability. Choosing that nice bright green and pink combo because you like it, rather than it actually working for it's purpose. And this doesn't just come under the umbrella of pleasing the client, because they'll likely only be interested in the aesthetics also, but it's your job of the designer to make the most attention grabbing, most beautiful, most suitable design you can.

But on the other hand, when you have full freedom to disobey the client and create something for your own personal liking, it can really create something exciting and different—which could feed onto being suitable if the client and brief were changed to suit as such. But that's the problem, you are designer and your are operating under the command of another needs, otherwise you wouldn't be paid, so changing the brief or the client to suit yourself is where design becomes art.

I feel this is just a massive mish-mash of thoughts from my head, so if it made no bloody sense I apologise, but well done you for getting all this way. If I had a sticker, you could have one! But I don't so you'll have to go home stickerless. Sorry.


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