The International Design Yearbook 2005
Gijs Bakker used to tell me that designers do not read. That makes me feel good and helps me overcome my fear of the blank page as I write this foreword. What can I say to an audience of design professionals?
Why do we have a design yearbook? That was the first question that popped into my mind after being asked if I would like to edit the 2005 International Design Yearbook. Is it important to evaluate and discuss quality? Do we need to make a document that will review the year? Is it for our children, or for our parents, so that they can show it to the neighbours and be proud of us?
I believe in design. I believe design is one of the great things man can do for the benefit of the community in which he is living. I believe we need ‘progress’ because we want to feel meaningful, and beyond that to feel alive. Life is about change, and if we create new things, then we contribute to the certainty of life. If the life I live is inspiring to others, I live a meaningful life.
If there’s a single reason why design is so important to me, it is probably the potential it gives me to inspire, to contribute to the concept of a world changing in the direction my heart and head want to go. This is my primary focus as I work and play around in the garden of our industry. If we want to become an inspiration to others, we have to become communicators. Scream if you want to be heard!
We have to grow out of our own little world, to find new people to speak to and new people to listen to. We have to make as many crossovers as possible. Secure in our little box, we can become too comfortable and fall asleep. We all agree with each other too much. It’s sometimes scary to see that what we consider to be the greatest piece has no meaning at all to a wider public. May this book be a welcoming invitation to people outside our design field and an encouragement to us on our trip outside the box.
We all fish the same pond, and today – in a challenging business environment – we are perhaps inclined to try to steal fish from our neighbours instead of growing them ourselves. This is where I see the great purpose of this book: I hope it will be an ambassador that will inspire us all to grow more fish. I am happy that the publisher, Laurence King, who has created this yearbook for more than 20 years, has agreed to make a contribution to this cause by sending a copy of the book to 100 people in different fields, each of whom has a great influence on modern life. I want to inspire them – and many others – with our activity, our spirit, the ideas from our hearts and our vision for the future.
But more importantly – and possibly more effectively – I want to ask you to help me. When you have finished reading – and hopefully enjoying – this book, please do not lay it aside on your valued bookcase. Instead, hand it to a person you feel you can inspire with these little pictures, these little pieces of writing, these little signs of passion for creating a new world.
Be an ambassador and create more fish!
Grow more fish – fish will eat.
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