My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.
— Nikola Tesla
“When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me flying around in invisible pieces. When I look too hard, it goes away. But when all goes quiet, I see they are right here. I see that I’m a little peace of a big, big universe. And that makes things right.”
In the 19th century Jacob Riis wrote about the other half of society - the weak and underrepresented. In contemporary society and in the process of design, there exists a similar division - but in this case the ‘other half ’ is not to be found externally, as a particular sector of society, but internally, as a facet of ourselves. The other half of who we are - the creative, the imaginative, and the spiritual - is also weak and under-represented, compared with our rational, instrumental side. The emphasis on utilitarianism, economic efficiency, competition and progress in today’s societies and today’s world of design has often eliminated the poetry, elegance, and creative austerity of our other side. The suppression of this ‘other half ’ has led to a materially abundant but spiritually impoverished world. It is argued here that greater acknowledgement of this ‘other half’ in industrial design can lead to products that are expressive of a more balanced understanding of human needs. Such a shift would not only contribute to a culturally richer material environment, it would also allow us to more effectively address the principles of sustainability.
1984 wasn’t meant to be an instruction manual