Blurring the Boundaries: Survival in the 21st Century

November 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Design Practice In Context 2

As Graphic designers, the majority of our work is done through a screen. Less than 10 years ago, all our media was streamed through the TV and radio, and was controlled by specific decision makers who selected what we saw and heard and when we saw/heard it. Nowadays, we don’t have to rely on someone to feed information to us. The technological advancements and leaps that have occurred within social media allow us to be as free as possible and access whatever we want.

Documentary explores the effects of being wired

The internet is a huge vehicle for advertising – there is no escape from the constant visual bombardment. As UK consumers, we spend almost half of our waking hours watching TV, on digital platforms or looking at a screen. The average person spends 3 hours 45 minutes watching TV (and a lot of that time we are doing something else whilst doing so).

McLuhan’s idea that ‘The medium is the message’ tells us that there is a significance where others see only data. He tells us how to measure phenomena that was previously unmeasurable, because of how technology has progressed. The way we are living with all these digital opportunities as an extension of ourselves (not only this, but it is also an extension of our mental selves) is having an effect on the physical brain – but is this enhancing or limiting our creative practice?

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Modern media is more interactive, but not only is it two way…it is led by us. The freedom of how much we are able to access combined with the seamless  flow of information is what makes media today so different from traditional media platforms. As designers, we need to be aware how we communicate across cultures and through language barriers.

The 60s and 70s were times of social discontent, where people rejected the past and were all about political force. Youth culture today are less likely to battle with the past, they more or less embrace it. People nowadays who are anti-digital are more acceptant of the new digital media age. More recently, the digital world is changing, as it is feeding us and inspiring us to get together rather than communicating solely through screen based media.

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