Open Wallets, Open Minds

Essays on technology, psycho­analysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek


June 9, 2011

Open Wallets, Open Minds

From the David Report’s Closed Wallets, Closed Minds:

Our consumption is slowly but surely destroying us – psychologically, spiritually, maybe even morally – and, more literally, the world we live in. Our desire for novelty has not taken this into account – nothing has been allowed to stand in the way of our quest for new stuff, while credit and cheap labour has facilitated it.

As usual, skepticism is warranted whenever someone starts on consumerism…

One route to success will be an ability to merge commerce with culture – to provide products with the same deeper meanings we find in experiences the likes of theatre, dance, food, museums, film, literature and sports, each of which offers an emotionality that multi-nationals desperately need.

It is this mind-set that product design needs to tap into if it, and the brands behind it, is to prosper in the years to come. If we are not ready to live in a world with slower expansion – and it is unclear that we do – it is time to come up with a new generation of relevant products based on a holistic standpoint – one that does not only look at sustainability from an environmental perspective. It is necessary to look further and include values such as authenticity, aesthetics, affectivity and compatibility. The ruling technological perspective should be set to instead view product development through the lens of humanity.

…because ultimately, it’s advice for multinational brands on how to prosper in a “post-consumerist” society.