Thursday, April 16, 2009

is there any room left to be great?

It always fascinating to me to research any famous person, to watch a movie or a documentary on how one specific person did so much to change the future of how we lived. I remember in “Factory Girl” Andy Warhol was asking Edie if she thought people would remember them and if they would talk about them, if they talked about them what would they say and she just responded “people are gonna talk about how you changed the world”

And today in my History of Design class watching this really inspiring video on the great and amazing Mies Van Der Rohe (for those non-designers/architects, he was the most imaginative architect of the 20th and even 21st century, his work is amazing) and I started thinking, im sure like everyone has thought before “I wonder if one day students will be sitting in a classroom studying my work? Will I ever be in history books?”

But then I started thinking, are we at a time period where it’s almost impossible to stand out? Years ago these people stood out because they were the “first” the first to use steel and concrete and glass, and the first to use them in such ways and the first people to use bended plywood like Ray and Charles Eames. But are we at a time period where there are no “firsts” left, did all the greats like Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier,

Did all these people already do what can be done? I mean you have great architects now like Frank Gehry who did the EMP, but even Gehry isn’t groundbreaking famous, he’s not in any history books we only talk about him because he did this really cool design in Seattle and we live in Seattle.

Can anyone compare to these past marvels when nowadays you’re amongst SO many great and other talented designers? They say architecture is killed by the book, and the book is killed by the internet. Which means they’re saying architecture is to available, anyone can read a book and study it, and now even the book is killed and you can just Google whatever you want and seem just as smart as someone who studied for years and has a degree.
But is it really fair to compare and aspire to be these greats when maybe everything is already done? Maybe it was easier for them they weren’t so much competing and now we feed so much off one another, we feed off magazines and other designers and past designers, is our work…really our work? I mean back then when Mies Van Der Rohe was using Steel and Glass and making these amazing glass skyscrapers that was his own original thought, but are there any original thoughts left? Or is it all now a collaboration of other things?

The one thing about design is that your job and your career and even your schoolwork towards your degree isn’t about money, if it is you should get out, because design is art and art can never be about money or something so superficial, it needs to be about constant inspiration of greatness, it’s not about being better than others and being grandiose, it’s about making current life so amazingly natural, its noticed. Design is a problem waiting to be solved, and we will continue to solve them, but I think they’re just may not be room left for spectacular-famous-groundbreaking-will-study-for-years-to-come designers.

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