In step with these troublesome times, design — in all its disciplines — aims to serve a greater purpose in consumers’ lives beyond being aesthetically pleasing.
That was the word from Tim Brown, chief executive officer and president of IDEO, a global design consultancy, during a public chat last week with Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek contributing editor and visiting professor of innovation and design at The New School.
Brown told the standing-room-only crowd, “Instead of always asking, ‘How will we make money out of this?’ we will be in a situation, whether we are professional designers or designers of our own lives, to ask ‘How do we make meaning out of this? How do we make knowledge out of this?’”
The subject of his new book, “Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation,” was a launching pad for last week’s discussion. The way Brown sees it, design stands to be a catalyst for change in relation to an assortment of social issues including global warming, education and democracy.
“One of my great concerns with many of these big issues, and global warming is the biggest of them, is that a lot of the debate is about what we have to give up, and there is not a lot about what we’re going to create,” said Brown.
Afterwards, Brown noted that fashion designers could be instrumental in embracingthis new approach. “I see fashion as a great industry to lead the move toward participation and away from consumption. I think it will happen on two fronts and there is already evidence of both happening,” he said. “Firstly, we have to see closed loop production systems emerging in fashion. This means the use of renewable resources right through the supply chain so that energy and materials are not wasted unnecessarily. This may mean going back to more local forms of manufacturing to cut down the considerable resources used by today’s global supply chains.”
Brown added, “Secondly, clothing is an emotionally and culturally rich piece of our society in which many more consumers could be involved. Already we see evidence with the explosion of knitting and the success of start-ups like Threadless.com, where ordinary people are willing to invest considerable time into clothing with no obvious monetary reward but lots of emotional return. I think the fashion industry will have to figure out ways to be part of this new ecosystem. I expect to see lots of experiments over the coming years as designers and clothing brands explore this opportunity.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye