April 18, 2006

Healing With Design

I chose to read a second article abour healing with design because it is an area I am really interested about. This article by Chase Rogers gives a summary about the healing effects light, electromagnetism and color have on the body. He feels that if a designer can successfully harness these areas in their design it could be the most responsible things a designer can do. He introduces energy as the link between mind, body and soul and says this relationship between our body and it's environment can have dramatic effects on our overall health. Bioentrainment is a term that is given to designers who can effect these vibrations to help the body coexist and thrive in it's environment. This concept is used in music as well. Music entrainment has been shown to improve the listener's mood by promoting livliness or serenity. Light is also a huge factor in mood. Rogers brought up a study that proved changing the light in classrooms from flourescent to broad spectrum decreased ADD, and increased learning, memory retention, and optimism. Color, of course, is another factor in mood and health. Many studies have shown how mood can alter mental health and reasoning so it is important as a designer to be able to harness this knowledge to improve the health of those we design for. One interesting statistic Rogers gave was that when England changed the color of thier bridges from black to blue, suicide attempts decreased by 50 percent! Rogers concluded the article by reminding us that illness is not only caused by bacteria and germs but also by unhealthy ways of relating ourselves to the environment.
Personally I do agree with a lot of what Rogers is saying here but some does seem a bit far out. I think his facts about changing the light in the classroom and such were helpful ways to relate this area to the reader but he could have used a bit more. What I think has been concretely proven is that color can have a great efffect on the consumer and therefore it is important as a designer to be able to address those effects in our design.

The Designer as Producer

The article I read by Victor Margolin touched on the ways the world of production is shifting towards entrepreneurs. He says this is shown by the rising ease of development of products with use of the internet and lower cost machinery. One main example of this he gives is the possibilities new typographers have to make their own fonts and sell them worldwide on the internet. He feels if more designers get involved in the production end of things, we could change the global market just as typographers have in their field. Through this, he feels we can focus more on social responsibility since it is easier for a small business to make these decisions rather than a large company where there are so many other variables such as shareholders and large competitors. Another point he makes is that we as designers can do more than challenge the system - we can create our own niches in the market. This allows product that otherwise may never have been produced and may fill a need in many lives. He ends by saying that design schools should take the initiative to have degrees in design entrepreneurship. This would enclude design classes as well as business classes to teach business plans, emerging niches in the market and monetary concerns.
Personally I felt this article was encouraging for someone like myself who hopes to be self-employed in the near future. It did, however, state many things I felt we quite obvious such as how the internet has helped support everyday people in starting their own businesses. His recommendation at the end for design schools to help students gain business knowledge is huge and I feel it would be a great success at any college.