it takes more than optimism to be a designer…it takes doing

I have always understood design to be a creative and optimistic endeavor. Those who think, create and make are usually responding to a desire to address a challenge. They make something useful and necessary. They create to improve, to inform, to make something better. In some cases, they imagine something completely new and different. This takes optimism.

I’m channeling this inner optimist as I struggle to make sense of the recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. To be an optimist, a designer, I have to be able to imagine a world in which good ideas have a place to be. A place or context where my efforts, and those of all creative endeavors, can be focused.

What is this future where ‘climate change does not exist?’ What is the context of a non-renewable energy tomorrow? How do I reconcile my study of environmental issues and deep concern over the consequences of non-restorative patterns of consumption with what is being said by the Trump team?

The answer is: I don’t. And that gets me to the point of this post. Nothing has changed. What we know about the world is still true. What we need to do however, is do more. Continue to make, certainly. But also incorporate into our making the best practices as we know them to be. No more com-promises or ‘half-promises.’ Car efficiency standards? Check. Renewable energy standards? Check. Clean production, product take-back, zero-waste? Check. Check. Check.

Posted in from making to doing

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