Designers In Between The Economy And Society Argumentative Essays Examples
Type of paper: Argumentative Essay
Topic: Design, Sociology, Graphic, Middle East, Profession, Commercial, Saudi Arabia, Culture
In the “The First Thing First Manifesto” which was signed in the year 2000, the authors argue that the design profession should give higher priority to its social functions rather than its commercial functions. On the article “Manifesto with 10 Footnotes” it, however, argues that both commercial and social functions must go hand in hand so that both are important. Between these arguments, I agree with the “The First Thing First Manifesto” (Bierut, 2007). I would argue, therefore, the designers should shift their efforts towards meeting their responsibilities in the social realm, especially today that our societies are being threatened by diverse environmental, social, and economic problems.
It is pointed out in the “The First Thing First Manifesto” that the current design profession is focusing too much on designs that are for commercial purposes only. Because of this, the designer’s role to cause social change and strengthen cultural identity is being set aside. The fact that there are diverse social issues today necessities that the design profession shift back to its real intended purpose. This means that it needs to focus more on its social and environmental functions over commercial or economic functions. This the main reasons of the signatories of the manifesto, to which I agree with.
The “Manifesto with 10 Footnotes” points out that there is indeed an imbalance in the prioritization between commercial, social, and environmental focus in the current design profession. But this imbalance does not mean that designers give higher priority to social factors over commercial factors. There should just be a balance between the two and the shift should be done speedily.
In the case of the graphic design profession, however, I personally think that the first argument is more valid. Consider the graphic design made by The Chairman Web Design (2015), while it is a logo designed for a Saudi Arabian company and is trying to attract graphic design artists for Saudi, it does not show any Saudi Caligraphy. Figure 1 shows the graphic design.
Figure 1: Relatively strong western influence in Saudi graphic design
Nevertheless, there are many graphic designs that still show the Arabian culture. Saudi Arabia is slowly opening up into the world. It is currently sending numerous students abroad so as to understand other cultures that exist, especially in the western world. These initiatives help Saudi Arabians like Saudi Designers obtain a good knowledge of the western designs making their works more fit for commercial purposes. What is good about Saudi Arabia is that it will less likely to let go completely of its culture in exchange for western commercialization. The graphic designs, despite taking some inspirations to western designs are still largely influenced by Arab culture. This is due to the fact that the Saudi Culture is governed by the Islamic religion. The graphic design made by Gestalten (2015) shows this point.
Figure 2: Modern graphic design that shows strong Arabic influence
In my opinion, the Saudi Arabian design profession in Saudi Arabia is not in danger of the cycle as described in the articles of Bierut. The reason for this is that the Arab or Islamic culture is very stable.
In summary, this essay discussed the arguments of the articles, “The First Thing First Manifesto” and the “Manifesto with 10 Footnotes”. The Argument of “The First Thing First Manifesto” is more applicable for Saudi Arabia, which is for the design profession in the said country to shift back to its social roles and away from its commercial roles. This would be very easy due to the culture in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an example of nation that is so far successful in making its designs to have higher commerciality without sacrificing their social purpose. Thus, the points in the article that the design profession us take into consideration both economic and social factors, and the former has higher worth than the latter support each other.
Albadi, S. (2007). Art Education and the New Knowledge Economy in Saudi Arabia>Retrieved from: <http://insea.org/publications/art-education-saudi-arabia>
Bierut, M. (2007). Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design: The First Thing First Manifesto and Manifesto with 10 Footnotes. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Gestalten (2015). Arabesque 2. Retrieved from: < http://shop.gestalten.com/arabesque-2.html>.
The Chairman Web Design (2015). Graphic and Web Design. Retrieved from: <http://mimoa.co.za/>.