“As scientists we try to comprehend the world. As designers we try to change it. We engage with the big questions of our time―global economic inequality, environmental destruction and climate change, technologies of surveillance, and security policies―by drawing on the tools of both, research and design.”
---Friedrich von Borries
Design plays a greater role than what we thought. Friedrich von Borries, a German architect and also the Professor of Design Theory, has developed his theory of design towards the goal of a culture transformation. While the current society focuses on the middle two categories, the social design and security design, which have caused most of the conflicts nowadays, more work needs to be done on designing survival through the design of one self, to complete a holistic pyramid of culture design.
The 10 individuals who left city to the country moved for his or her own reason. Around the messages shown in his book, Andy pointed out a few design issues in the modern days and shared a leading guide we can follow to help make this society a better place.
In an urban society, The way we language our problems determines the solution we can come up with. Nevertheless, language has been used over-furiously than its initial intention in this age—the negativtiy and violence within the words have created a world under the dark clouds. How can this be altered and to create a more ideal society?
“If you don't have a whole lot of unsatisfied people, the economy stops dead, doesn’t it? ” The fact that our economy is so realiant on people’s unhappiness and pesssimism introdouces another society desgin issue. “I think all people want freedom, but they’ve got this idea inserted into their head about money. ” So what on earth is economy playing on freedom? How can we lead to a healthier economic system instead?
While these problems falls in the category of social design, how can we nowadays take the initiatives to make moves in self-design and survival design by start design our basic spiritual and survival needs.
“So where should we start? Top down or bottom up?” One professor from Tongji wondered.
To Andy, the top down and bottom up way of thinking is being influenced by the hierarchical society that we reinforce for. The higher, the better. Well, is it? For a culture transformation, more rethinking of the structure of our society is needed. “Sometimes touching the earth is just enough, even if not a single thing grows from what I plant.” Like what Wakako Oe said in Andy’s book, we need to treat and think our surroundings with less superiority but more caring, awe and respect. Maybe neither top down nor bottom up is the way to go.
Friends from Tongji, along with Andy and Cynthia, sat in a circle and shared ideas and thoughts in the dark without artificial light for 30 minutes. It was the first step we took to rethink and redesign our way of living. More human connection. Less environmental impact. I’m not sure how people felt but I thought that was beautiful.