Christian Long

Paola Antonelli: Treats Design as Art

In TED Talks on April 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Reflection by TAYLOR C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Paola Antonelli:  Treats Design as Art

In this TED talk, Ms. Antonelli speaks about design, and how it is seen in many different parts of the world. She also discussed how many people don’t realize what ‘design’ truly is, and that the typical interior designing having to do with furniture, clothing, etc. Is not the only type of design there is out there.

Ms. Antonelli explained that all over the world people excel or “have a knack” for different types of design. For example, in Uruguay and Argentina people typically build their homes in a “beautiful modernism that you don’t see elsewhere.” But there other types of art such as contemporary is not quite so impressive. But in places such as New York people seem to have amazing abilities with creating contemporary art.

Many places may not excel in decorative design, but in places such as Jerusalem their expertise go towards the design of everyday items that could make life that much more convenient. At a school of design in Jerusalem one of the main focuses are finding new better and creative ways to design gas masks, in particular better designs for children. The ideas they have come up with are rather remarkable, they have managed to design a gas mask allowing children to take a sip of Coke (the drink), masks small enough to fit a toddler still allowing them to be held by their parent, and even a little gas proof tent to protect young babies. These may not be the most attractive designs and you may not want to hang them up in your home. But they still have a great purpose and are used to save countless young lives on a daily basis, and that is all that matters.

I believe this is one of the key points Ms. Antonelli was trying to get across, design doesn’t necessarily have to appeal to the eye, but as long as it appeals to you in some kind of way (such as saving lives) than it is still as creative and sought after as any couch or ‘designer’ dress.

I must say I learned a lot from watching this TED talk, I always had the generic understanding of what design is. Now I understand design isn’t strictly based on ‘clothing’ or ‘interior design’, but it also consists of the creative ideas that are the stepping stones to the development of products that can change and save lives.


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