Sunday, 5 June 2011

Endless Design

I was told something disheartening this week. Whilst attending the Job Centre for his fortnightly check in, a friend of mine was asked a question. Would you consider moving to London? On a number of levels this seems rather inappropriate, for starters how could one consider moving to the capital on a chance? Secondly it seems some what unsustainable for a Manchester based service to give up and send every unsuccessful jobseeker to another city, the result can only be a fully mobile population, spending their lives permanently moving city to city, perhaps this week one will be in decorating in Birmingham, and the next answering phones in Glasgow. A city of Manchester’s scale is self-sufficient enough, but it can’t sit back and begin to offload it’s inhabitants, it will only crumble and diminish.

My friend however is in the world of design. Economic times have reprimanded the need for quality, and money is no longer invested as greatly in to this field. 30 years ago London was the only place to go if one was to make it big. This isn’t necessarily true, more of an urban myth that perhaps still stands today. After several months without a job I began to think that London was the only place where I was to be successful. So much so I moved down with a suitcase and began an internship. I had several interviews during my time there, but nothing came from them. Ironically moving to London is what helped me to get a job in Manchester, discovering that a job in design can be anywhere, London is bigger, but so is the population, statistically you are just as likely to get a job there as you are in anywhere else.

It leads me to wonder what the future will behold for the design industry. Our lives’ have so easily adapted to the modern technology. Taking the past 10 years we have moved from mediocre black and white mobile phones to 3D tvs and phones more capable than high end pcs a decade earlier. The creative industries have merged with technology available, harnessing their capabilities to benefit production, creating a truly 21st century profession.

If we work so well with technology, and have become so in tuned, will we begin to evolve along it’s path? Cloud based storage is about to erupt in technology. The concept of storing all of your data currently sat in your device in the ether. You would be able to access it from anywhere in the world on any device. This immediately reduces device’s sizes and flexibility to take a wider range of forms. By removing the need for storage, and all future devices emulating what is stored somewhere else, we begin to live in a truly mobile world. Interaction can become so immediate and simple that physical presence is no longer required, a life where senses are replaced with technology.

As design and technology evolve together we begin to remove the need for the local. The question then of one’s location in reference to a design job will become negligible. The world will become one local entity. Work can be completed from your flat in Manchester, on a project in Honk Kong, without ever visiting or physically meeting your client. Offices are no longer needed as you begin to realise the trip into work is inefficient and unnecessary. Why spend money visiting consultants when you can all sit round a virtual table. As the synergy between technology and design accelerates the shape of the city will be transformed. The hierarchy will be lost, centers no longer required, uniformed blocks will sprawl out and the eventually physical interaction lost.