We’re all designers, busy designing our own lives. Powerful stuff but sounds a bit cliché, doesn’t it? Designing Is About the Decisions You Make Every Day, a recent article on Fastcompany.com, got me thinking, and before I knew it, the questions were popping up.
The problem is that design has become a fantastical buzzword invoked to change the world, heal your woes, and make your life easier. But if you were to ask people on the street the meaning of design, you would receive a new defintion with each person you stopped. And, too often, design is associated with aethistics. And even if you throw function into the mix, what difference does it make? Does advocating a designed life equate to filling your life with good-looking, functional widgets? Is that how design can make your life better?
The key is to divorce design from any assocation with consumption, which is exactly the direction Ayse Birsel takes in Design the Life You Love, a recent project challenging us to stop and “think about [our lives] for a moment.” Conceived as a recipe, Birsel proposes a simple and thought-provoking way of examining the complexity of your life and to ask what’s next. It’s so simple, in fact, you could do it over a cup of coffee.
Birsel recoginizes that design, at its essence, is decision-making—and good design means good decisions—whether that manifests itself as a cool product, choosing to riding your bike to work, or deciding to go back to school—you’re designing your life when you make a thoughtful decision about what is right for you and for your life. And that doesn’t sound like a cliché.