Neroism

07Jan07

I was flipping through Icon Magazine and found this interesting definition under “isms” for the 21st century.

Neroism

Rather than solving our problems, design is killing us. Architects and designers no longer provide for our needs but for our wants, fuelling the inferno of human consumption that is overwhelming the planet’s life-support systems.

Yet our collective fear of impending disaster is overwhelmed by our unwillingness to make the lifestyle compromises necessary to reverse climate change and habitat destruction. Contemporary notions of “sustainability” are aimed more at assuaging our guilt than making a real difference.

Neroism describes the contemporary condition of hedonistic behaviour in the face of catastrophe and also justifies it: ours is the last generation that will be able to enjoy such wanton irresponsibility, so let’s enjoy it while we can!

I thought this was a very apropos way of describing design’s role in today’s mainstream. I feel that this represents all that is wrong with design and presents an interesting new approach to designing objects. What if we designed not to satisfy needs, but rather designed to avoid satisfying needs?

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