I've been thinking a lot about what I mentioned in my previous post: my strong desire to join forces with the ever-growing movement of returning to the earth, being natural, and interacting locally. It seems more and more people are beginning to recognize the benefits (be they moral, environmental or merely a smart business move) of using organic and natural products, but few are taking the time to really figure out what this green trend means. As far as I can tell, trends are superficial manifestations of much deeper changes that are taking place in the beliefs and perspectives of humanity. Trends come forth as the most obvious interpretations of these changes. In general, people adapt easily to trends because they require very little convincing. We are told good designers must always be a step ahead, that we are in charge of creating the next trend. The key to being able to do this relies on your ability to dissect trends and discover what really is happening beneath the surface.
The chorus of green supporters grows louder every day, as more and more voices join in to promote organic foods, grass fed meats, artisan cheeses, raw milk, straw bale homes, solar energy, hemp clothing...it is quite remarkable! As each person adds their unique voice, there is one clear melody to which all others harmonize: return to the source. Return to the earth. We are all simultaneously realizing that the earth and all its natural systems held solutions to our "problems" all along. Everything we could ever need and want has been in front of us the entire time. This is reality, and it is a reality that until now has been assumed to be sub-par to modern civilization. But we are very quickly learning this is not the case. The quality of what comes natural, or what is real, is vastly superior to what we've struggled to recreate. Just ask a foodie.
Somewhere along the way, someone decided to take the simple action of a man pulling a carrot from the earth and complicate it to the point of the man needing to spend the first quarter of his life being educated in order to obtain a degree with which he can work a 9-5 job in order to accumulate monetary wealth so that he can afford the gasoline to drive to a grocery store to purchase a bag of over priced slimy baby carrots that retain few of the nutrients and none of the taste of that original carrot pulled from the ground. What was once a very real and pure relationship between man and earth has now been complicated with layer after layer after layer of unreality. Right? Because what do we know for sure is real? You are here on this earth. That's real. The earth grows food that sustains us. That's real. And all the rest? All the rest is only real because we believe in it, and therefore maintain it. We believe that an academic degree or title means something; therefore, we maintain educational systems. We believe money represents wealth and abundance; therefore, we maintain our economic systems. We believe some people are more powerful than others; therefore, we maintain our political systems. As soon as you give a split second of your time to feeling a victim to any of this unreality, then you allow it to exist for that much longer. If we all turned our backs on these systems, they would literally crumble around us.
So how does this apply to design? Let's start by considering all the layers of unreal that we consciously or unconsciously have allowed to hinder our creativity. Do we really believe that you have to have a certain academic title or degree in order to be creative? Or that you need to have certain connections? Or that someone demanding money or paperwork or whatever is enough to keep us from being creative? Or that one person's opinion or critique can stop us in our tracks? Are we really willing to give something so unreal that much power? Sure, there are times when you have to work within an imposed system. Just keep in mind that it isn't real. Every day I believe a little more strongly that pure creativity is as real as a carrot pulled from the earth. So it makes sense to me that just as the earth provides everything needed to grow food, so would it provide everything we need to be creative. That excites me to no end.
So this is how I want to join in this global movement, this worldwide recognition of returning to the source. I don't know what this means for my work per se, but the best way to discover what is real is to rule out what is unreal. By tapping into this, you can tap into something much deeper and longer lasting than a trend. You are tapping into the source, the place to which all things are returning, and in this way you will be ahead of the game. Most importantly, you will cement your own role in whatever the future may bring. You will be part of the conversation. You can be calling the shots. You can be leading the change.