As a designer I know that design is much too important to be left in the hands of designers.

 

It drove me mad in the beginning , but now I just smile and wait for them to go back to where they came from, to their little cozy swamp of approval they were taught to depend on for their self esteem, and know , that they are poor poor people.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

Stylish Sophistication - Western Conformity

Living in south East Asia for the past eight years has cured me of the westernized damages my creative outlook suffered through years of study and work in Europe and the fact I was born in an American tangent country, and until my mid thirties was still under the spell of the 'modern' world.

 

The American ideal, after all, is that everyone should be as much alike as possible."
- James Baldwin

 
Whenever I have friends over , from the other part of the world, when we go around the markets I see beautiful things that I might, or might not consider buying. For the house, maybe some clothes, shoes, a bag. For them these things are exotic at best and they always think I am joking when I stop and look, ask for the price. What? You are going to buy that? But its…. The colors, too many of them and they are too strong, and it has gold in it, a shirt with flowers on it…
 
The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself."  - Rita Mae Brown
 
I take them to all the best markets, all the most beautiful places that sell the local goods for the local people, the authentic places, and they treat it like a visit to the zoo trying not to touch anything. In the end of the visit they go back with eight pairs of fake designer jeans, six t-shirts with some known name on it, all fake of course, and two pair of Nikes.
 
Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers."  - Mignon McLaughlin
 
Did I mention the t-shirts have to be black?
 
In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from."
 - Peter Ustinov
 
It drove me mad in the beginning , but now I just smile and wait for them to go back to where they came from, to their little cozy swamp of approval they were taught to depend on for their self esteem, and know , that they are poor poor people. Not being able to buy shoes is a real tragedy, but also not being able to buy shoes that haven’t been pre-approved by your "peers" is a mini tragedy. At least for me. And I don’t even like shoes.
 
One dog barks at something, and a hundred bark at the bark."  - Chinese Proverb
 
The west has a deep rooted sense of conformity, that is second only to communist regimes, and just as psychologically debilitating, paralyzing. I remember an incident when I tried to convince an acquaintance that had a couple of days layover in town to choose the bottle green, beautiful dark color that it is, instead of the black t-shirt. He was so insulted, as if I offered him chap lass leather pant and to grow a handlebar moustache. Green t-shirt. Dark green.
 
Cool is just conformity dressed in black"
– Bruce Mau
 

If you look at design magazines in the last decade and a half you will find a very interesting fact. You don’t have to. Just look at one and you know it all. The eightees was the last time there was any attempt to bring some life into our life. It was horrible as most things in the eighties were, with garish colors and accessories that still give us all nightmares (if you owned a bandana, this is the time to slap yourself.)

But at least there was an attempt for something else. Something different.
Now, we don’t even have that. And when you look around you, the rich usually are the poorest in this area, on a global scale. The rich all over the world will look the same, live in the same houses, drive the same cars, eat in restaurants with the same interior design and the same food. They can afford to be modern and they read all the right magazines.

The poor are the only ones that still keep some local aspect to their life, because they can't, thank Buddha, afford to be globalized yet.

they live in more colorful houses that have a wonderful diversity to them, they wear clothes that are chosen by taste, by color, by comfort and not by the logo on them, and they are more open minded.

This, and I enjoyed immensely coming to this conclusion, is one of the few times when being poor saves you from a fate worse than death - Conformity.