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KLM designer Hella Jongerius - ‘There’s too much shit design’ in today’s society

The designer of KLM’s new business class cabin Hella Jongerius has claimed that the quality in design has been lost and said there is “too much shit design” in today’s culture of mass-produced products.

Speaking at the Indaba Design Festival in Cape Town, for which The Drum is media partner, Jongerius said that the vast creation of cheap products “is really going too far” and called on the design industry to fight for new values.

“I’m fighting for new industrial values, there is too much shit design; we live in a culture where we shop without any conscience for the world. Designers have a responsibility. I need to not only listen to my cultural and aesthetic conscience as a designer but also my environmental and social consciousness. So I have a mission… my plea is for a new awareness and holistic approach.”

Jongerius said that the original values for design have been lost and consequently the quality of products has decreased and become less important.

She blamed this partly on large corporate marketing departments which she said are using “many tricks” in their messaging and omitting any reference to the product.

She questioned who holds the responsibility for "the whole story"and added marketing that doesn't relate to the product "has no benefit".

Jongerius added that the vast creation of “cheap stuff” is having a negative impact on the design industry and that designers should emulate the art sector in their work to enhance a “real and long love” for objects among consumers who today have an insatiable appetite for the “newest of the newest”.

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