"The Future Imperfect: Design and Foresight" by Cady Bean-Smith
The more I learn about design, the more I realize how intertwined design is with everyday life. A good designer, in my opinion, knows and understands the current social climate. In other words, a designer cannot be a hermit or isolated from society because design calls for immersion. Technology drastically changes the way we live and is constantly growing, which is why graphic design moves concurrently with technology. In "The Future Imperfect: Design and Foresight," Cady Bean-Smith emphasizes the connection between technology and sociology. Bean-Smith proposes three questions to ask with the onset of new tech: What does it improve upon? What does it introduce? What does it obsolesce? Comparing the things we used back then and now, Bean-Smith illustrates how the iPhone obsolesced the answering machine, the digital camera, the paper calendar, alarm clock, and GPS, and meshed all those objects into one. The iPhone changed the way people socialize, creating an environment where there's no "definitive endpoint" to working (according to Alice Twemlow). With new technology, it's important to realize what's lost. This reminded me of my summer part-time job at a small chiropractic clinic. The doctor there decided to upgrade to a digital filing system (ChiroTouch), where patients could check-in and store their personal information. The doctor found that after doing this, everything actually took longer than just filling out paper forms, giving him less time to tend to each patient. For the sake of accuracy and storage, he lost speed. Considering both sociology and technology, designers can use this as a powerful tool to solve future problems and shape society.
|ChiroTouch is a program most chiropractors use for their clinic, which I mentioned above|