My Role as a Designer
Material objects are the point in space and time where conceptual thought meets matter, and shapes, and lives in it. This is how I see it. Culture can be described as a semiotic map of human intelligence defined by the reference points of its own material expression. This map has no self-conscious architect; rather it is the materialized intelligence of all humanity: every individual, by simply expressing their natural intelligence, contributes another reference point into the collective map that charts the breadth and scope of human intelligence.
Only in this way can we look consciously over the map of culture and realize our own humanity, as individuals and as a collective species, in its abstract totality, rather than simply be conduits of its unconscious expression. We can see Guns, and know we have violence within our nature, we can see red light districts, and recognize that sex drive in the human intelligence. We can see hospitals, and churches, and welfare institutions and see the amount of self-awareness humanity has of itself as a single intelligence.
I believe that the impulse for the human mind to interpret, to imbue experience with meaning, is natural, and unavoidable. However it is still my belief that there is potential within humanity that exceeds the limits of its own signifier based intelligence. That humanity is not bound to the limited patterns of its own intelligence: that war, as an expression of human intelligence, can be avoided by greater awareness and therefore control over the primal urges of our collective human intelligence.
I believe my role, and the role of designers is to look at the material social-cultural artifacts produced by the collective intelligence of humanity as a whole, to gauge the state of evolution of the intelligence that produces them, and to produce new reference points that contribute to the overall balance and mental health of humanity’s collective sub-conscious. That is to say, contribute to the overall self-awareness of humanity, and accelerate the overall intelligence of man.
This can only be done by looking at the totality of culture as the expression of one human intelligence. That individual objects, institutions, and events, are merely different expressions of one mind, in essence, culture is humanity’s dream in which the distressed mind of humanity creates different personalities and symbols as an effort to crystallize its own inner struggle, with its self. As such Designers can be seen as a self-conscious aspect of the collective psyche, manifestations of the super-consciousness or higher self of the one human intelligence functioning to heal and guide humanity towards a knowledge of it self.
Designers consciously create culture: we inject awareness into the raw expression of humanity’s primal and emotional intelligence. On a basic level by giving form and name to a need and by doing so bring that subconscious need into conscious recognition. And on a higher level redirecting the currents of the collective intelligence into expressing into a higher form. For example communities with little self-consciousness manifest haphazard city structures such as faevellas which grow without conscious order. However with more conscious design, communities could be structured into planned housing that form a cohesive tissue of individual cells forming a whole.
In the context of the pre-existing literature of design i would be a critical designer: a psycho-analyst of the collective sub-conscious through the material expression of culture. And as a critical designer i feel that my role is to “emancipate and enlighten: making agents aware of hidden coercion and thereby freeing them from that coercion and putting them in a position to consciously determine where their true interests lie.” (Geuss, R. The Idea of a Critical Theory)