Monday, June 20, 2005

Resigned to design

Has anyone else noticed the "design" fad as of late?

It seems that every business or news magazine has a picture of an uber-hip exec with unfeasibly stylish, extra-german looking glasses, looking pensively either into the distance or at a product design mock up on a table or held up for examination.

On top of that, the magazine racks are swelling with a plethora of design-related and/or creativity-related magazines. I'd imagine the book cases will as well, but the magazine industry is a more immediate barometer of trends, as mags flare up and then fold as the trend settles.

Perhaps this is part of a larger trend?

Robin writes "art openings are the raves of this decade". I'll paraphrase and say that art galleries are the "networking social" of this decade. Seems to me that with all of the talk of design, aesthetics, art, etc, that there is a trend afoot that everyone (techies, biz types) beleives they have to be a renaissance man/woman in order to be competitive these days.

Pretty comparable to how everyone beleived they had to be moderately technical (if they were a biz type) or biz-savvy (if they were an engineer) in order to be competitive during the dot-com boom. Remember all the engineers trading stocks every morning? Remember all the biz folk talking tech over dinner?

So here's my pop-sociology hypothesis as to the cause for this trend: It's a cultural knee-jerk reaction to the fear of outsourcing and international competition. For a while now people have been saying that, just as manufacturing was replaced by engineering (of both tech and biz processes) as the first world's "core competence, the answer to tech jobs going overseas is that 'creativity' becomes our next core competence.

Sounds plausible, and so people are gettin' artsy to get ahead of the curve.

Jeez, and I just got rid of my need for glasses. Perhaps I can just get a beret.

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