Look around you. The hundreds of objects surrounding you right now didnâ€™t appear out of thin air. They have been created by people like you and me, only with a different label i.e. designers. And if these guys did their homework well, the characteristics of the things around you have been created to suit you and your needs.
The function, form, texture and colour. These are the characteristics we are talking about. At times the research does not reveal some or all of them. Sometimes things need to be created from scratch and thus the designer has to use his discretion. In such cases, is the subconscious effect of theses really considered. Barring a few cultural differences, certain forms and colours hold common meanings around the world.
For those of you who have watched Devil Wears Prada may remember the scene where Miranda (Meryl Streep) lashes at Andy (Anne Hathway) with a big speech about how the blue sweater she was wearing landed in her hands because it was chosen by them â€“ selected few people. And thatâ€™s how things take place in real life too, in a lot of cases.
Our minds are hardwired to interpret certain things in a given manner. Or we are taught and conditioned to do so. While designing something, do designers actually realise the subconscious effect their designs would have on the masses. The effect additional to the intended one. If pink is the reflection of the new male of todayâ€™s world, is it also transforming the ones who never related to this colour. If things have organic shapes today, along with reflecting todayâ€™s needs, does that also alter our perception of things on a different level.
Considering that 95% of our thinking and cognition happens in our subconscious mind, design holds tremendous powers. It has the power to transform the society even while they are not aware of it. Do we realise what effect these inanimate objects are have over us? The things we see, the things we hold, the things we use. Every minute your mind is being influenced and altered by design.
Dangerous or useful? I think we can place it right next to the nuclear power discussion.