As a student at UC Davis, to what extent do you feel you have been “encouraged to work in this manner” Papanek recommends?
Many of my design professors try to get the students to design consciously. Work which is able to be designed in a sustainable way is celebrated while we are taught to stay away from making things which are designed to be trendy for a while, then replaced. This was most emphasized in Design 1, but other classes also try to promote this type of thinking.
I do think that there is still a big focus on aesthetics, while Papanek writes that only a small part of our responsibilities as designers lies in that area.
If possible, describe your experience(s). Alternatively, if you do not feel you have received encouragement, why do you think that is?
Many design classes focus on being sustainable, from DES 1 where we had to make an environmentally friendly animal habitat, to DES 116's environmentally friendly product design.
Most of the classes I've taken are print/web classes rather than ones where I’m designing products like furniture or lighting, so I feel that this encouragement is lessened and possibly not needed as much.
To what extent does the television designed by Papanek and his students empower its users?
The television designed by Papanek and his students was made with “African skills, factories, and distribution networks” in mind, allowing Africans to produce and sell the television sets in their villages. Rather than having under-developed countries manufacture “souvenir-like” home decor objects, which sell for only a short time, there should be a focus on helping them create things which “suit the needs of the people there”.
The prompts do help apply the reading however I prefer responding to articles because Papanek can be a little dense. Sometimes I’m not sure if I completely understand, which then makes it hard to respond to the prompts.