Designer Life

Did you know the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.?

Which means we are designing our future today with jobs that wont be there tomorrow!  We are equipping ourselves with skill sets today that wont be needed tomorrow,or if you want to take a modest stance , only partially be used tomorrow. Hello? Is anyone listening?

One might argue that had we not been visionaries, we would nt have seen an iPhone , had we not thought about communication we would not have internet today, had we not thought about  seeking answers there wouldnt have been Google!  However, the popularity of these examples lies in the elite minority and not the majority. There are 7.2B people in this world and only very few of them understand the impact of these technologies or innovation. for them life continues more or less the same way it did earlier. Their pace of growth is not the same as the urban /informed /elite groups.

Thus thinking that new age has finally “arrived” is largely a misnomer. Our designers in the past had not given adequate attention to the adoption of these technologies and ideas.They were busy creating. As a result you see most innovations today are mere enhancements and improvements rather than this quantum leap in simplicity. In fact they increase complexity in the small set of elite groups that leverage it.

Texting while extremely common for the generation of the 20’s, the generation of the 40’s is neither that frequent or comfortable – yet they fall in the same bracket of elite technology user group.A very small percentage in their 50’s or above resort to texting, other than need only basis. Remember when you were kids and your parents told you phones are for communication  of important messages not chatting pointlessly all night long ? Somehow we tend to come a full circle.

In the quest for higher productivity,efficiency  we are compromising ease of use and adaptability and as a result narrowing the scope, or creating a greater divide between the have’s and have not’s.This means sooner than later in not the too distant future we would have designed a life of poverty,unhappiness and perhaps crime for those set of people who are under privileged and “under-adopters” for lack of a better word.In short we are designing our lives for future complexities.

So is there no hope for designing our future? Here’s your ah-a moment – yes there is.

Simplifying life is the key to a better future.

Here’s an exercise you should challenge your self with : If we take stock of your life,pick out 100 things that you can dispense with  and live like that for a 100 days. Chances are that you might not be able to do this exercise and that should tell you how deeply engraved you have become in the complexities of your life.How dependent you are on these complexities.

If we continue to use 220 million barrels of oil per day to fuel our locomotion needs we are surely headed for a hard bumpy ride. So are we designing a life around renewable energy in our daily lives? Probably not. We are waiting for this magic to happen where one fine day we will stop depending on oil and use an alternative source of energy without any effort. “Those things are for those elite few people who think about the future, I need to worry about my materialistic present” – seems to be the common escape philosophy for most people.

A small bite of a harmless looking pizza can lead to a massive change in our  lives as we know it. The numbers are enormous when you factor in the amount of people either exposed or forced to eat junk food simply because they have no other choice owing to their complex and busy lifestyles.There are more obese people now than there were ever before.What impact does that have on the healthcare industry? How many people are being enabled in skill sets so that they go find a decent job to afford a healthcare premium? Can we afford to ignore that?

By the year 2020 52% of the world population will be middle class. Which means you need technology that appeals to the masses.What appeals to the masses has to be simple.If it is simple, its adoption rate will be much higher, if adoption rate is high, then as a society we would be better off leveraging that technology or innovation than just a small percentile of elite groups.

The true capitalistic will beg to defer here. Why lose out exclusivity?  Why apologies for brilliance ? Why not enjoy something that others cannot ? The answer is of course you can – but imagine if the entire mankind thought in the same way. There would be world wide chaos.One ideal would go all out to prove its superiority against the other. If extreme passion  was persistent,world would a very dangerous place to live in. We cannot exist like silos – imagine 7.2 B silos? Somewhere we need to have collectivism and for collectivism to work we need simplicity.So what are you doing today to ease out those complexities so that your future is simpler,easier and hassle free.? If we incorporate the simplicity gene in our genetic code, chances are we will see a better safer future – by design.

In conclusion, I’d say we need to re-design our present in a new simpler way to ensure we have a simple future.Vanilla is not bad afterall.Everything is multiplying, compounding, doubling,tripling, increasing – where is the threshold for all this growth ? What are the fallouts? Are we ready for them ? Who’s talking about reducing ? Who is talking about simplifying? Are you?



I am designing the future in association with & INK talks.

3 thoughts on “Designer Life

  1. A valid point. A sustainable and inclusive growth is definitely not the pet peeve of capitalists. People thrive at exclusivity. But the future that you envisage was already available to us in the past. During the Bharata age. But then, in spite of good examples set by our ancestors the subsequent generations gives more importance to greed than inclusive growth. Let’s hope that the situation will change.The concept and importance of simplification was brought out very well in your post.

    Destination Infinity

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