Quotes of the Day: Conran, Starck and Allsopp on Design in a Recession


Sir Terence Conran, Kirstie Allsopp and Phillippe Starck. Photograph: David Levene

Fascinating interview in the Guardian, discussing the question: "What is the role of the designer now, when we are taking a beating both economically and environmentally?" Starck is pompous.

Perhaps in 30 years it will be interesting to come back and speak about the beauty of a chair or a lamp, but today that seems a bit obscene. Even during the time it takes to do this interview, people will die from a lack of water. We must try to stop design for design's sake. Design has always been political, and now more than ever we focus on new goals, which I call democratic ecology.

Allsopp is nostalgic.

I hope the current economic crisis will lead to people looking for longevity. In an average house I see an enormous turnaround of stuff. There are plenty of homes where nothing is more than five years old. What happened to the things that preceded them? What happened to the possessions of previous generations? It's almost like people had no parents or grandparents. Nothing has been passed on.

Conran notes that good things come out of hard times.

In the 70s, when I was doing Habitat and it was the time of the three-day week, we started a range called Basics. We went through the standard house creating necessary things that were good value and simple. We kept it going for a few years and franchised it out to a Japanese store called Seibu. They eventually opened stores called Basics, and later these became Muji. So, you see, some of the best things come out of hard times. We're probably entering a time of simpler things now. Pink walls and chandeliers don't feel right. I think we've had enough of frivolity for a while.

Lots more in the Guardian
More on Phillipe Starck in TreeHugger
Phillipe Starck Uses His Super Powers For Good Instead of Evil ...
Quote of the Day: Phillipe Starck on the Role of Design :
Quote of the Day: Harry Wakefield on Philippe Starck
More on Terence Conran in TreeHugger:
Cuba Chest by Terence Conran
Terence Conran
Alvis Chair for Benchmark

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