Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Mini-Manifesto On Design and Voice

Design sketch by Burak Uyan.

As a rule, I don't do retrospectives. I'm always afraid of becoming maudlin. That said, there's some truth to the title of this short story by Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?"

Titles are important. The title of my blog is "creature of design." The key word is design. That word can mean a lot of things, which is why I chose it. My interests and tastes are omnivorous: I see design in everything, and good design brings me a sense of completion while bad design is a tragedy.

I started this blog two years ago because I wanted to share my outfits. I'm continuing this blog because I want to locate my voice and refine it into a product worthy of disseminating to society. Product in this case means something purposeful, well-made, and transactional.

Let's go on: transactional in this case means not necessarily something monetary or even something tangible, but something that can be transferred from one pair of hands to another while retaining my identity, that indefinable nimbus of consciousness which is called voice. You could call it brand.

Brand has evolved a long way from the Nike swoosh and the book No Logo by Naomi Klein. Brand has been refined and humanized even as it has become ubiquitous. Chanel is a brand; so is Karl Lagerfield. His cat Choupette is a rising brand. Also a brand is that little cellar shop two streets over which sells the best handmade soaps.

Let's go back: the original usage of brand is an initial or symbol burned onto cattle's skin to denote ownership. Brand simply means the burning of one's voice or vision onto a product so that its ownership is clear to anyone who beholds it.

What is my voice? What is "creature of design"? My intention for this year is to find out.

See, I got maudlin. Here's another picture of a shoe.


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