a definition that relates to metadesign
stars-veil-nebula.jpg Close-up of the Veil Nebula (wikimedia)

Designer as catalyst

  • In the 19th century, design was seen as a way to reconcile commerce, technology and society.
  • It evolved within specialist practices that focus on specific products, styles and trends.
  • Designers therefore tend to add value without challenging the economic status quo.
  • They are expected innovate at a local level, rather than make strategies for change.
  • They will need a different education to address the current major global problems.

Considering the whole system

  • Richard Buckminster Fuller wanted “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offence or disadvantage of anyone.”
  • His interest in solving complex problems led him to call for a “comprehensive anticipatory design science".
  • We at Metadesigners aspire to making a unified, transformative, ecological intervention at the social, political, economic and professional levels.
  • Metadesign works with systems too large or complex to be grasped by (individual) reasoning.
  • This is currently unattainable using orthodox, democratic and/or commercial methods.
  • It will require a far more holarchic and holistic approach that works at the social, political, ecological and economic levels, so metadesign must therefore reconcile governance with design.
  • But how might we address the vast scale and complexity of this task, when 'design thinking' evolved from a modest set of craft skills?
  • Although design has long been underestimated for its importance to the way we live, it has nevertheless been pivotal to making the 'realm of the artificial' more humane and appealing.
  • The next phase means designing for the 'post-artificial' age. It means finding a better accord with what we used to call 'Nature'.
  • 'Metadesign' will need to help us to balance the competing demands of humans and other living creatures. This will mean conjoining natural and artificial systems within a political, ethical and transitive framework.
  • It will mean developing strategies of transformational action that can connect new schemas of understanding, new models of acting, and new forms (e.g. networks) of agency.
  • Metadesign can therefore be understood as a form of ‘creative democracy’ that can be described by actions and ‘living styles’.
  • This will mean working closely with real communities to integrate planning, healthcare, and food production, etc.

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