Fetish Objects for Fetishists

Last week, I heard several people use these terms when talking about design: experience design, service design, transformational concept architecture, and holistic branding think-tank. My first thought was, “Wow, those people are smart. I’m really out of it.” When people sitting next to me on an airplane ask what I do, I say, “I’m a graphic designer.” Boy, I now know I missed the boat. But if I tell someone I’m a transformational branding and service architect, they’ll look at me as if I started speaking in Hungarian.

Years ago, when the whole “think-tank, branding, experience strategy” thing started, Noreen said, in her usual delicate way, “That’s bullshit. We’ve always done that. That’s just good design.” Frankly, I don’t care what people call themselves. I’d be fine if everyone thought “platypus” was a good descriptor. As long as we still speak honestly and work to help our clients, not just spend their money on meetings, I’m fine.

Now I need to come clean and admit that I love artifacts. I like making wonderful items, I like owning great design, and I like finding incredible things. This can be a poster, or book, or website, or exhibition. I'm not picky about medium, I'm a design slut. Right now I’m sitting in the Art Center Library, where I spend my lunch break, finding rare treasures. It would be far groovier to dismiss my fetish for things I can see, but that would be a lie. I may be hopelessly out of touch and falling behind, but I can’t stop celebrating remarkable work and the designers who create it. I still believe each of us has a unique life experience and rare gift to shape that experience into an incredible vision that should be seen and loved. Sorry for the preachy thing.

American Experience title sequence