Design Observer, one of the finest sites for extended review of design both high and low, published a fascinating article today by Andrew Blauvelt. Blauvelt describes this current era of design in terms of of how the imagined and idealized audience for design product has actually become, in his notion, the user. He points mainly to web 2.0 applications as immediate evidence, but also to point towards the shifting roles of consumer and designer. In short, he ponders whether we are now beyond discussion of the blurring of disciplines in the creation of new product and in the process of problem solving. He believes we are in a new era of design, one based on context and relation.

Within the piece, Blauvelt also manages a concise history of design, which helps to both contextualize and conceptualize his musings. Read “Towards Relational Design,” here.

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