Dezeen magazine reports from Design Indada 2015 where Hella Jongerius asks where the industry is heading and why cultural and social responsibilities are being abandoned by some in return for fast profits. Well known for her work for Vitra and most recently Dutch airline KLM, Hella Jongerius is a designer who has developed her oeuvre around ethically sound work. Often refreshing back catalogue collections of, for example, Charles and Ray Eames and Jean Prouvé for Vitra, with new colours and textures instead of producing more. In an industry that is filled with fast-turnaround, throw-away pieces, it's an important moment to slow down and think harder about how and what we consume, and where that consumption is taking us. Respected designers like Hella help pave the way by starting the conversation, leading by example and hopefully inspiring change.
The design industry has lost touch with its social and cultural values and is producing "too much shit design", according toHella Jongerius.
Speaking at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town this morning, the Dutch industrial designer urged the profession to adopt a more ethical approach to its work.
"There's too much shit design, there's too much shopping without thought," she said. "Designers have a responsibility here."
"I am calling for a new holistic approach to design," she added.
Design companies have abandoned quality and instead are too focused on generating quick profits, Jongerius argued.
"If you look at the original values of industrial design, the important values were to connect cultural awareness and social responsibility with practical economics," she said. "This is how the Bauhaus started."