Modern times come with modern materials and production means. All as a part of the industrial era in recent history. And most designers get  swept up in the overbearing approach of industrial design using the exciting novel materials and methods for mass production, in a mileu that’s  not sustainable, and where the primary purpose of endeavours involving design is creating profit. The result of which is generally a physical  product that is not of the quality it could be, not as considered as it could be, disposable, wasteful. And a system that is not sustainable.      What are the options for contemporary designers then? Obviouly an option is to become a cog in the industrial machine, concsiously or not.  Another is to rebel, to opt out, or to run from the problem. But this is the equivalent to a child with fingers in her ears repeating “la la la la la la la”. It is ignoring what is undesirable to deal with, or ignoring the real world, rather than designing an approach which can provide positive change  and (re-)creating a place in the world for designers. So the third option is to embrace the wonderful modern technologies and possibilities, but to  put them to work appropriately rather than being a slave to industrialization. To not choose the first, fastest, or short-term solution. To consider  more and more broadly. Perhaps to invest more in trials and prototyping. This is smart use of ones environment. And this is smart use of mans  greatest tool, her ability to contemplate and design a better way. This is poignant, purposeful, and considered functionality in the world. Which  results in better product, fewer harmful consequences, reliability, long term appreciation for the product, etc. etc. etc. It’s being industrious rather  than industrial. And this is what we call “Industrious Design”.  Industrious Design can be practiced at any scale, with any design problems, and as an approach to determine the characteristics of any product.  So it’s not a synonym for ‘hand made’, ‘home industry’ or ‘craftsmanship’. Rather it’s an approach, which means it can fit with any situation or  personal direction. For instance, since design involves considering the process of production as much as the characteristics of the final product  and we are sometimes asked to design the process for large-scale production, we see how Industrious Design can result in an all round better  solution at a more ‘industrial’ scale. While similarly, a jeweller dopting a new metalurgical discovery into their workshop practices might cut out a  large portion of their chemical waste.
Industrious Design