Paola Antonelli

We will all have to change and adapt.

Design will change in its most concrete manifestations. Of course, design as a methodology does not change. Like all industries, the design industry is in a crisis.

Designers have less work and are looking at the future with a feeling of uncertainty. I have a feeling that there’s going to be a restructuring of the way design studios work.

The idea of having a more dispersed and open-ended studio that works on different locations and on different projects could be a way to go, but no matter what, our professions will have to adapt.

I don’t think that there’s going to be anyone whose life will remain the same.

Bruce Mau

There is no way to reverse the global demand for a better life.

If we think of our current crisis as a runaway train then we need to replace the old diesel engine with an ecology of clean energy drawing on many renewable sources.

Energy first and foremost not a technology problem but a design problem. Only by reconceptualizing our relationship with energy - both its production and its consumption - can we resolve the challenge that it poses.

We need to replace the material from which the old train is made so that it is lighter quieter stronger smarter cleaner consumer products define to a large extent our impact on the environment. The selection (and invention) of materials is another fundamental design problem at the global level, but also for every individual product.

We need to redesign the experience of being on the train so that we are not waiting or suffering but living the best of human possibility and enjoying our time together - learning, collaborating, growing.

The compulsive consumption that threatens our future is driven by innocent and eradicable motives. The universal pursuit of comfort ease, and wellbeing.

To resolve the problem we have to design new ways to deliver those same experiences and exceed the yield of happiness that our current model provides.

We need to reinvent the way in which the train connects with everything else, and understand it as a network ecology of movement. Objects and events are easy to see; systems are invisible. But only by understanding the invisible systems that connect our reality - and sharing that understanding in simple and vivid ways - can we achieve the scale of transformation that we require.

To redesign the runaway train of mass consumerism will require a mass movement of small and large changes. The result of this collective effort will be more not less, abundance not sacrifice, beauty not deprivation, life not death.

An economy of movement toward a new way of life, and no longer a runaway train.

Paola Antonelli

Crises are like spark plugs for innovation.

They can become jump starters for renovations of sectors, communities, and systems that were not working well before.

Bruce Mau

The Western ideal of an affluent lifestyle has been marketed to an ever-growing audience-thanks largely to advances in communication technologies.

Images of limitless consumption have become normalized around the world. As a result, a global population is emerging from poverty and demanding the glamor, convenience, and luxury of the advanced economies - the same lifestyle they see on their TV sets and cell phones.

But the dream is unattainable. We have set in motion a runaway train of consumption worldwide, and this train threatens to derail life on Earth. The train cannot be stopped. But it can be redesigned.

The runaway train of consumption is a direct effect of the collision of population growth with technological growth, coupled with the relentless spread of Western cultural norms.

Every effort to stop the train by demanding personal sacrifice or abandoning the powerful dream of democratic wealth, first realized by the United States, has failed. We will not get this life-threatening train into reverse.

Our only hope is to redesign it - while it is racing down the track.

Paola Antonelli

Design is one of our most powerful tools in the COVID-19 crisis.

The ingenuity, resourcefulness, and generosity of designers and their collaborators worldwide has produced innovations that are helping to protect us from the pandemic, to improve its treatment and to prepare for the radical changes it will introduce to our lives in the future.

Design can help, not only designers and corporations, but also citizens, politicians, and every human being reach their goals.

Especially if their goals are a movement toward justice and more responsibility toward other humans, other species, and the environment.

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