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The World Impacts—and is Impacted by—Design

Sept. 29, 2016

At this point, it’s pretty much a given that you’re sick of hearing about politics. Fourteen months ago when we mulled over the 2016 editorial calendar, we thought we had the unique opportunity to discuss the broader implications of design, taking into consideration not only the ways in which things like sustainability can create an impact on the world, but also politics and lobbying. I’d say that we are design experts, not political experts, so we could not know then that this election season would turn out as it did. But then again, a lot of political experts didn’t know either.

There’s no denying that the political climate within the United States and around the world has been impacted monumentally by social media. The Arab Spring of 2012 was enough to prove that, but from witnessing the horrors refugees go through in real-time to your opinion of that one person on Facebook changing irrevocably (and regardless of your affiliation, we all have that one person on our friends list), the impacts of social media have never been more obvious.

One of the concerns I have as an editor of the less-social-but-still-media aspect of publishing is in analyzing the immediacy of the ways in which media is displayed. Within minutes of an event, you can find traces of it across the Internet. There is no more waiting, and the responses we read are led by feelings, rather than the calm rationale of logic, which requires more time and room to air out knee-jerk reactions.    

Perhaps that is why we are hearing this election season more than ever that people “feel” something is true, and therefore it must be. But feelings don’t trump (sorry) facts.

Luckily for us, publishing takes a slower pace—regardless of how it may seem during the crunch time of closing an issue. It relies (or should, at least) on facts. What are the big issues? Water conservation in California and the showrooms which are stewards of that effort (Dressing Room, p. 56). What lobbying efforts have toiled over the years to make our industry stronger? The designation of interior design as a recognized and certified skill on par with engineering and architecture (Field Notes, p. 32). What are the deeper stories interior design is telling? Sustainability and the history of Chinese immigrants working on Canadian railroads.

In this issue, we wanted to bring every aspect of how design influences and impacts the world to the forefront because it’s a field we believe in. It’s more than “just picking” products and it’s more than just a feeling; it’s a dynamic and vibrant industry ready to take on the world.
Kadie Yale | Editor in Chief
[email protected]

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