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Design Voices

A journalist checks in with eight influential designers to assess the future of the field in a new Kindle e-book

by Karen Day in Design on 26 January 2012

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In the new e-book "Design Voices," Dutch designer Maarten Baas points out that 20 years ago, "designing was quite anonymous as a profession." Now, not only has the importance of design become more visible outside of the creative industries, but designers themselves have also gained distinction as innovative problem-solvers.

Curious about how some of the industry's most notorious talents see the future and the "larger design arena today," journalist—and Cool Hunting contributor—Anna Carnick asked Giulio Cappellini, Ross Loveg- rove, Massimo Vignelli, Stefan Sagmeister, Maarten Baas, Tokujin Yoshioka, Dror Benshetrit and Milton Glaser to offer insight into how the profession has changed, and where they think the industry is headed in the years to come.

The thoughtful and timely e-book sells from Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($3), and you can check out some highlights from the "Design Voices" interviews below.

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A designer known for injecting technology and science into his materials-driven designs, Ross Lovegrove predicts that in the future people will stray from issues "purely centered on glamor and expression of personal wealth" and instead look to new industrial processes to shape things. "We will witness an explosion of sculptural forms in society based on the digital process and industrial economics," he says.

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The industrious, multi-platform Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister offers his thoughts on the fate of photography and books, saying "The still image will continue to lose its importance. Everything that can be animated will be animated. The printed book will die."

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As the creator of the iconic "I Heart NY" logo and co-founder of Push Pin Studios and New York magazine, Milton Glaser lives as a graphic design legend. In "Design Voices," he expertly sums up design as the "fundamental activity of the human species to achieve results," adding that "the official guideline of design is effectiveness."

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One of today's game-changing industrial designers, Dror Benshetrit sees today's design "at a fascinating point", and believes people are beginning to see it from a more holistic perspective. "Today, it seems that more and more, people need to compartmentalize others and put them in certain boxes," he says. "I think that's going to change. We are going to break that, and we're going to say, 'Well, I'm a designer, I'm an artist, I'm an inventor, I'm a machinist, and I'm a poet; I'm all of that.'"

All images courtesy of the designers.

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