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Bike LogoWhere Have all The Design Leaders Gone?

road through hillsWe were traveling through the mountain pass on our way home from a conference and as we summit-ed our radio reception returned.   “ALL THINGS CONSIDERED” on NPR the Sunday evening edition was in progress.

We did not hear who the guest was being interviewed and I could not find the program on line several days later to figure things out, and the subject was how the ARTS and Entertainment affect/effect change in cultures and societies.   The speaker was a well-respected and highly documented individual who was knowledge about this subject matter.

The discussion just turned up the contemplation volume of my thinking.

As we began listening, the guest was just summing up a discussion on how music and specific songs were very representative of the feelings of despair and hope that is a part of this specific crisis period in the USA.  The hopeful music has been recently emerging from an untraditionally long spell of despair and angst music.

Then the guest said something which just perked up my whole listening systems he said, (paraphrased)  …this period of time….marks one of the most vicious attacks/ lack of trust/ projected upon artists, designers and architects I have ever found evidence….   The artists of culture and community, the folks who bring creativity to necessary change and move us forward are hiding out from these attacks.  And why not, there is only a 30% approval rating for artist, architects, and designers right now?

I have been thinking about this comment for the past two weeks and all that the guest continued on to say for about 3 more minutes.

I think it is because we have such a huge mass media experience and the loudest voices are working FEAR to the max.  The fear of change is heightened and people want to control what they do not understand or return to when they felt safe.

In all the great periods of evolution and change it is the artists who lead the way and it is the designers who contribute hope and creativity to the community.

It is a housing crisis too brought on by greed, so why would one trust those architects who brought us this problem?   Lots of miss information rolling around.  A local architect said to me, that we needed to tighten our belts and things like college should just not cost so much; he proceeded to tell me how much he paid for college 25 years ago.   Well we do know that austerity measures do not work, it is stimulus which corrects these kinds of crisis – just look at the recent elections in Europe, they have been suffering austerity and want no more of it or to lose their services and rights.

The media has portrayed architects as wealthy folks creating outlandish and extremely contemporary structures.  There are just as many “religious zealots” among architectural communities as in the general population.  It appears to me that the creative and futuristic design artists and architects are being attacked and so they are laying low and maybe, yes, even hiding?

They are worried about every paycheck too and caring for their families….where are the leaders and the risk takers and how do we discover their vision and support their efforts in resolving this crisis, being good stewards of the earth, healing, and progressing?

What do you think?   How do we counterbalance the naysayers and the fearful?  How do we create in crisis?

Related Reading:
Thinking Out Loud
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Wed, May 9 2012 » Inspiration

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