design as resourcefulness and self-reliance

Pamela Hovland

Pamela Hovland

We were hoping that Constance Old would guest curate for ‘the improvised life’…here is her first (great) post:

Emily Campbell works as Director of Design for a British think tank called “RSA” (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) which is committed to research and projects devoted to social progress. (

She wrote a terrific essay on her blog Design and Society; it’s called “You know more than you think you do.”  The gist is that professional design has alienated the individual, and designers actually have an obligation to design better access for the user into their work: then the user could fix the thing themselves without a degree…Kind of a call to simplify things and empower the individual even in highly designed objects.”

Campbell also designed this poster with Anthony Burrill which should be on everyone’s wall (and in our heads).

Thanks for the photo, Pamela!

Related post: Creative Reuse: Constance Old’s Hooked Rugs

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