Co-designing, no designer is an island

No designer is an island

No designer is an island, or a designer island for that matter

The title of this entry can mean different things to different people. To me it means that no designer is an island. I´ve wanted to write something along these lines for some time, so here goes.

I was driving home from a gig I had one day and a thought occurred to me of how strange it is, as a designer, to say “I designed this”. It´s not really true. When you give it some thought it´s quite impossible to design something by yourself. We are totally dependent on other people and our environment for everything, absolutely everything.

If we take a very narrow view of it and only look me, Gummi, we will see that I cant even get up on time without the help of a cellphone manufacturer. Sony Ericsson made my cellphone. Then only looking at the design part, try to imagine all the people that made Photoshop. And then all the people that affected the people that made Photoshop and so on. None of them would be able to get to work without the help of other people, get food, be inspired, love or just be alive. I think is was the Buddha that said something like: “this is because that is”. It was called the law of co-arising.

Ubuntu, not the operating system, but the philosophy is also all about this. People are fully dependent on each other and would not exist unless the other person excised. There is no up unless there is a down, no black unless there is white & no designer without Photoshop 🙂 There is no musician unless there is a listener and so on.

Or as the Zulus would say, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”, which means that a person is a person through other persons. We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others.

So the next time I open Photoshop I´m gonna try and remember that things are not as they seem. Try to feel appreciation for the opportunity of being a designer, and be thankful for the incredible “fact” that I am here and now doing what I´m doing because of the help of all the people that ever existed and the fact that a star sometime exploded to make this moment possible.

My mind can never comprehend the complexity of this world, but I sometimes feel like a real part of it. Like this world is part of me and I am part of it.

No one or no thing is here by accident.

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