Where exactly do politics and design meet - and when should they?
Jon Kolko, an interaction design specialist at the Savannagh College of Art and Design in Georgia (that's the Georgia in the US, not the Georgia that Stalin should have got the midnight train back to after failing to become a priest) has penned an interesting piece on the subject called Addicted to products: Is good design no design at all?
If Interaction Designers are capable of shaping the poetic experiences of life, it follows that they are also capable of shaping poor experiences - either through lack of skill, poor execution, or by simply selecting silly projects to spend their time on. Consider the value provided by selecting problems as related to social, political or economic stability, and compare this to the design of a consumer-facing online book store. Which has a larger value, and for whom? It is not the intention to argue against the development of poetic experiences for consumption and for consumptive products; however, the Interaction Designer needs to be truly aware of the repercussions of their choice, and to understand that they are, in fact, designing simply by selecting to spend their time within a certain discipline or genre of problem solving.
Expect an interview with the exceptionally interesting and friendly Mr. Kolko to appear soon. Watch this space.