August 8, 2022

The knew luxury

Knowledge (experience, if you prefer) I’d argue is a luxury commodity all of its own.

The luxury of knowledge – of knowing the meaning behind and importance of culture, and not simply cultural goods (whether actual of non-fungible) is a great treasure. At least it should be.

Unfortunately it’s not an idea that seems universally embraced. See it comes with that problem called age. Which is grey, with a tendancy to waffle on and be, well, just a bit vague. It’s not knowledge’s fault though. Because of the things it knows, it can find it hard to find a way to make itself relevant. To find ways of ‘resonating’ with its audiences. Nothing more cringy that trying to BeReal with the Whimsigoths and Baby Alts at our age. Bit creepy too.

So it’s understandable it can be a bit reticent to share. It doesn’t want to come across all mansplainy in the meeting. But media is a young person’s milieu and it can look a bit odd if Mum (or Dad) wants to play in the same sandbox and where there’s a missed opportunity in the design industry. Designers are supposed to be seen to be leaders. Leading on trend, on style, on look and language. To be hyper-knowledgable. But you can’t be. You can’t simply download the luxury of knowledge, annoyingly, it takes time.

Instead there’s a tendency to wrap ourselves in the vestments of that knowledge. To luxuriate in aesthetics. It’s the look that powers identity. And that we derive status. The paradox is being seen to be in the know, and being confused with the kind of knowledge that helps people in, rather than excluding them.

Lots of studios have a bunch of dangerous old fools, usually sat quietly thinking about some issues that, with perspectives gained from quite some time spent looking might prove worth listening too.

We see you, closet curator. Time to ask you to share your insights. Just keep it brief, yeah?

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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