A lot of the work we’ve completed over the past few weeks have been predominantly focused on globalisation of design and design practices and the influence this has on what is produced. Overall it was clear that globalisation is a good thing and not something that we can control either!!
Simon Manchipp spelled it out perfectly in that it is an unstoppable force – it’s a good thing to talk about and discuss but we are in no position to think we can control it. We are suddenly open to working on a much larger canvas and we can open up our eyes to multiple cultures. This in turn has a huge effect on the design produced. Regular Practice touched on this, in that they felt the online world made their work more slick and quicker. Perhaps this means it frees up more time for their creative work rather than meeting people face to face and spending a lot of time talking things through with them?
Firstly because we are now able to experience new cultures, we can create work designed for these countries and they will not be changed by our Western attitudes or beliefs. Take Pearlfisher’s work on Havana Club – instead of just looking at typical Cuban images or cultures, they actually immersed themselves in the Cuban world and realised this country is all about being hands on, being vibrant and standing out. Their packaging suddenly became wholly Cuban and it drowned out the Western voices that would have influenced certain parts of the design that perhaps didn’t work or don’t follow the usual design rules. This new cultural diversity means that even within a small studio space, there can be different cultures giving different views on how a product should look. Take Pearlfisher’s Taylors of Harrogate – there is such a diverse cultural representation behind each product and they each look different but are synonymous with the ways in which the product represents that culture/country. What a beautiful way of acknowledging the origins of your product and ensuring those origins are given the respect they deserve.
Sam Winston was keen on the idea of this huge digital space “opening up massive inter connectivity”. BUT, you are exploring this new world and the volume has been turned right up – I think this metaphor spells out my feelings on the digital world. You can scroll through your Instagram page and be hit in the face with the same designs after the same designs – same with photography.
Can we still be unique and have our own creativity in a world where “visual culture has become more uniform”? Where design trends have become “homogenised”? Sam Winston told how his work changes dramatically because of the effect of globalisation – where previously he might lay text over a certain image or illustration, he is stopped because if it’s to be produced in multiple languages it can change the cost of a project dramatically. But does this also mean that we are now working harder to stand proud from the crowd? Personally, this encourages me to be more creative and open in my working to ensure my work is different and doesn’t follow the same patterns/themes/rules…
“Humans respond to humans”Sam Winston
A general feeling whilst watching all the interviews and lectures was the sense of not wanting to lose their human-to-human contact. I think Sam Winston struggled in the sense that humans respond to physical objects and not just PDFs – you become a long line of online documents or images and there’s a lot of respect in just turning up at someone’s offices with the design. It was supported by Intro Design – if people like and engage with you, they will want to use you again and again. You can’t always achieve this via email, a lot is to be said for a phone call to sort out an issue which perhaps could have been blown up if just trying to resolve it over email. On the other hand, I believe we are seeing a shift in human reaction to the online world – as Susanna mentioned in her interview with Maziar, Millenials now are trying to prove that they are not just heads in phones, not just lost in the online world. That they recognise the beauty of human interaction and the beauty in the world.
How could I finish with out talking about the beautiful work of Pearlfisher and Femme? This piece really highlighted to me both the use of Eastern values and cultural representations but also how using those tools, you can create a brand that look as if it has been designed in China but in fact was created in London. But would you know this?
This stunning project took designers over to China to again immerse themselves in the culture over there and acknowledge how tampons are viewed. This respect towards the culture meant the designers could be understanding in creating a packaging that made tampons accessible to Chinese women and modernised their interpretation of Chinese values. This acknowledgment of the cultural differences meant it was not just a product, but an education as well. What a beautiful way to show the success and positivity of globalisation within design?
Leo Burnett Design created a holiday card that allows the user to send a card which can be altered depending on the cultural greeting necessary – for larger companies sending out corporate holiday cards, this is such a fantastic example of how designers can adapt and change depending on the purpose.