Design Mediating Future 設計媒和未來

「設計」是人類與世界接觸互動的中介,不管這中介物是建築、符號、服飾或者器物。但設計不只是中介,更是面向未來的運動,意欲創造目前為止的世界不存在的新事物,它接生藏在新技術中的現實可能,將模糊的未來帶到這裡與現在。

廣受敬重的日本設計師川崎和男曾說過,設計師是企業內唯一在產品尚未誕生之際就足以「代表著未來使用者發言」的專業。這個說法在2016年的現在只有變得更加清晰,設計已不僅是人類解決問題的手段,是接生技術與人文願景的領航者,更該是在未來與現在間創造和平的知識實踐。

「滿足人類需求」的設計已成過去,「解決當下問題」的設計也快到了盡頭,時代逼迫我們必要進化,從未來的角度重新定義設計的新時代。

當前人類社會正面臨史無前例的危機與機會,除了經濟大蕭條的陰影籠罩,恐怖主義的幽魂不散,生態崩潰的警訊四起,連Pokemon Go, Uber, Alpha Go, Drone這些新生事物都不僅帶來興奮,同時困惑,甚至面對未知的恐懼也伴隨而生。

未來從來沒有像現在這樣接近現在過,事實上未來是如此接近以致我們成了第一批被未來逼著前進的人類世代。設計如今不再能一意樂觀地從當前的新科技催生愉悅的未來,更要學著扛起川崎和男口中的設計使命,從未來那端回頭盯緊現在,裝備現在應對未來,避免人的科技偏離了萬物共生的星球倫理,給下班車的人類保留座席。

「如何設計與未來和平相處的現在?」

設計必需準備好再度演化,從在現在與未來中間充當媒介(medium),蛻變成在兩者之間調解衝突、創造永續的媒和者(mediator)。

從這樣簡樸的發問開始,新時代的設計必要致力於調解現在與未來的衝突,促成設計與社會間更深刻的願景對話。設計從誕生之際就註定是個運動體,這道理現在只有更加清楚,人類與地球永續的未來正等待設計成為更積極「媒和未來」的運動!

World-renowned Japanese designer Kawasaki Kazoo once said that designer is the only one in an enterprise who can speak for the future users before a product is given birth. The role of today’s designers has gone beyond problem-solvers, but also a navigator who brings future to the present by connecting technologies with humanity.

Human society is facing unprecedented crises but also opportunities. The shadows of depression, the spreading terrorist threats, and the global environmental collapse are just partial facets of our challenges. New inventions like Pokemon Go, Uber, Alpha Go, and drones entail not only fresh excitement but also ethical confusion and even fears to uncertainties. Design can no longer continue its traditional forward-looking stand as if anything new is always better. It also needs to examine backward from the future to our present time to prevent civilization from ethical derailments.

It’s time for design to learn to be a mediator by translating back-and-forth between now and the future, by deepening dialogues between future design and sustainable society, and by measuring the success of design with more profound human values. Design was born on the move by nature. It’s only truer now that design must become better a movement for the healthier breakthrough of industry and a brighter future for humankind.

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