“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill

Can design save the world?  Next time you’re busy Googling (yes, it’s a real word) type in the phrase “Design can save the world.”  Apparently back in 1998 someone had the audacity to wear a t-shirt proclaiming so.  It created quite a vitriolic backlash – and the heading above (and another version of the t-shirt).  I can’t remember how I stumbled across this recently :-)

In 2013 Kayne West said the world can be saved through design, and more infamously that “everything needs to actually be architected.”  Obviously I’m a fan of design and architects and strongly believe in the power of our built environment to nurture us,  inspire us, and bring us together.  But saving the world?

No.  Design won’t save the world.  But nor will love, or volunteering at a soup kitchen.  But that doesn’t make any of those things less important.  And nor are any of them mutually exclusive.

Which reminds me – another thing that won’t save the world – haters!

Update – just read a quote (don’t know when/where) from David Carson (American graphic designer) “Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”


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