The Death of Good Design

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Why is modern stuff so ugly?

I'm getting increasingly disturbed by the sheer ugliness of modern-day products. Just a simple walk down a street involves good taste being insulted at each step. It's not just the cheapness I can't bear, but the seeming lack of creative brain power going into how things are designed. Instead of being a functional object which is nice to behold and use, things are just made to be bought, consumed and then break down soon afterwards, to perpetuate the capitalist machine we're all stuck on the treadmill of.

Everything now has to be 'curvy' and 'organic', as if straight lines or simple elegance are 'masculine' and 'brutalist' and hence politically incorrect. Anyone who thinks that straight lines are not found in nature should look again. Just because we now have the technology to form steel and plastics into sculptural shapes doesn't mean that we have to forego basic good style; on the contrary, it should be a godsend to designers. Even worse is manufacturers trying to be different for the sake of it (or to escape the traps of crazy patent law), by sticking on naff trimmings that detract from rather than enhance a product's look.

I fear that the onset of lame design is terminal, and wherever possible have ceased buying new things, preferring quality second hand items instead.

Here are just a few examples of vulgarity:

Please tell designers of such modern design abortions that they can goto hell.

© copyright Malcolm Smith 2006-05-08 - last updated 2008-02-12 - links verified 2008-02-12 - This page is under construction