Less will no doubt be the keyword for 2009. Millions of people will have less money, less houses, less comfort, less to eat. We have reached the limits of our financial and natural resources and we can’t borrow more. So we need to settle for less.
As negative as this reality of ‘less’ may sound, we should ask ourselves how we can make the most of it. Can less be more? Can Mies van der Rohe’s famous adage acquire new meaning, not just in stylistic terms, but as a positive drive towards more sustainable and economically viable design strategies? How can less be better?
Much has been said about the necessity to fight overconsumption, to save resources, energy and time. But how can we put these urgent insights into practice? How can we develop design products and strategies to achieve a ‘positive less’ and not feel impoverished by it? Can we redesign greed? Can we make ‘less’ look sexy? How can ‘less’ become an enlightening value instead of a restrictive fact?
EXD rallied a group of countries and their creative communities to answer this challenge. The result will be an experimental showcasing proposing new ideas, concepts and strategies addressing the motto ‘Less is Better’.
Material and immaterial, these new artifacts for the 21st century should require less resources, less complex production systems and use easier forms of distribution. We hope they are timeless.