Nacho Carbonell: The Environment and its Adaptation in a Mutating World
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Nacho Carbonell: The Environment and its Adaptation in a Mutating World

Nacho Carbonell: The Environment and its Adaptation in a Mutating World

Adaptation is something that every living being has to do in order to survive in the environment he, she or it lives in. If designers are, as we presume, a species sensitive to environmental changes, then it is crucial for us to be experienced in adaptive techniques. Personally speaking, I believe that design and designers could be taken as barometers or a statistical measure for what is currently happening around us. In this ever-changing society, in our modern life or mutating age, designers are influenced by the past, present and future of their surroundings, and that is what makes them so sensitive to change.

Analysing our environment and our society should be an everyday task. Searching is the way to come up with answers. Self-criticism and the notion of betterment are essential tools if we want our ideas to progress; and observation is a powerful ally in helping us to understand changes. An astute insight into our environment and its history will point us in the right direction towards a more coherent future. Rather than with the aid of magic, the future is forecast through the understanding that comes to us by means of analysis, and that is what allows us to anticipate what is coming, thus making us participants in that change while it is still in progress. Our input and our perspective can help to enrich the process and to make suggestions pertinent to that change.

In my view, the actual process is absolutely essential for the development of new media, taking media to be those objects or projects a designer may create. A process is something malleable, something abstract that takes place before reaching a solution. Very often, the moment of change lies precisely during the process. Bringing the right elements or taking the proper decisions during the process will lead us to optimum results. And not just to the best of goals: it will be a result that will take us by surprise, something pre-programmed by a previous idea yet at once unexpected thanks to the mutations undergone during the process of creation. The possibility of intervening in those projects will lend us a chance to contribute highly personal and/or key elements for the evolution of the objects.

Long and painstaking processes may provide us enough time for rethinking, re-questioning and interacting in ways not planned in advance. They give us a chance to observe. And that observation should be coupled with analysis. An analysis that will hopefully dig down to the root of a project and thus help us to understand its existence, its drive or need to be—the real reason for an object to be born or created that way.

The word design is coloured by many contextual ramifications, thus making any definition highly fraught and liquid. New meanings are continuously being added to the term, as it adapts in consonance with new elements emerging in our environment.

At this very moment, I would personally define design as a potential tool to be used in the processes of adaptation to the new environments we live in, and to be conceived as a channel for communication that conveys messages for a better understanding of our surroundings. More at Hiatus.