If you live in or were visiting New York City during Mayor Bloomberg’s first NYC Design Week last week you were likely barraged with visual stimulus in much the same way I was. I saw new collections at countless showrooms and furnishing galleries, I attended the D&D Building‘s Spring Market event (a freshman effort deftly organized by the building’s new Director of Marketing Kate Jerde) and spent an afternoon at the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair. And while I am always interested in the product, I like to comb through the philosophy of the weeks offerings to get a pulse on the business of the design industry.
I’ve made three observations I’d like to share.
Pablo Picasso photographed Gjon Mili for Life Magazine, 1949
A few years back I read an anecdote about a woman in Paris, and her chance encounter with Pablo Picasso. I’d like to recount it for you for two reasons: first because I’m a fan of Picasso’s work, and second because it points out the very real distinction between a commonplace commodity, and the work of a talented creative individual.
Now with all due respect to Picasso, I’m not attempting to compare interior design to his body of work, but the story illustrates a complicated issue for the design community in our post recession, increasingly e-commerce driven economy – design being perceived as a commodity.
Here’s the story.