Designing the World
(Page 2 of 7)
CAROLINE PAYSON: Good design has always been aspirational for a very narrow group of people. But think of the economic boom of the ’90s, when people across cultures had more disposable income. Then you’ve got places like Target, which democratized taste. Their slogan is “Design for All.” The vast majority of what you find in that store, you’ll find in any other store like it. But that small percentage that’s designed by Michael Graves2 or Isaac Mizrahi3 is the first time anyone shopping at that kind of store could actually have something that was designed.
TONY WHITFIELD: Also, the rampant consumerism of the ’80s fed into this, and the fact that it coincided with enormous numbers of women moving into the work force. And also a population of aging but still viable people, in terms of health standards ... The range of aspirations take on new dimensions when you extend that point of vitality. One of the signs of aging is diminished consumption. This generation has actually extended its viability as consumers.
I think part of it is gender-based. When you move consumption beyond the traditional realm of the housekeeper, the homemaker, and you change that gendered role, then you open up a whole range of other possibilities in terms of consumption.