The possibilities of today
Graphic designers had to consider this reality a while back with home publishing and redefine their practice. They didn’t fade away, but they were forced to change focus and create new roles – web designers, interaction designers, etc. Musicians and writers redefine ownership with the “creative commons” license while challenging record companies. Even newspapers and magazines are struggling with the fast pace online. Fortunately for us, the tools of online product design have not fully ripened yet, nor have home production tools. But let’s not be cocky – the day is near. For product designers, this reality is one they need to be ready to face. And they can start now. The online creative consumer is already present, and design (even if lately somewhat forgotten) is for consumers. This consumer asks something different then what design has provided in the latest Milan fairs. He doesn’t want to be a source of inspiration for the conceptual designer, to be educated by the ecological designer, or to have new gadgets pushed down his throat by the commercial designer. He wants to be part of a conversation, part of the creative process. He wants to work together with the designer.