Editorial: Our response to Kanye West’s claim that ‘Design can save the world’

Editorial: Our response to Kanye West’s claim that ‘Design can save the world’

Earlier this week Kanye West stood on a table at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and declared that 'the world can be saved through design.' Check it out on Dezeen here.

Sure, design can make a difference; it can persuade, communicate and can even save lives. Design has the potential to change the world, but it can't save the world. West also said that he believes that 'utopia is actually possible.' Was he being serious, or merely trying to encourage the students there? And is this idealist philosophy actually helpful (to design students, or to anyone) who may be bitterly disappointed when a life of striving to design and 'save the world' results ultimately in death?

'I really appreciate you guys' willingness to learn and hone your craft, and not be lazy about creation,' he went on, and this kind of encouragement is surely far more valuable than some far-fetched utopian vision. We do need designers who are striving to create their best work, who experiment and refine their techniques, and who dare to dream, but who recognise that whatever they create, they will never be God. 

What do you think? Are the possibilities for design's impact limitless? Can design change the world, or save it? Tweet us your thoughts. Best hashtag wins an ice-cream.

  • Main image: Flickr Creative Commons - Angelonfire
    Top image: Kim Kardashian. Bottom image: Justin Gallagher
Similar Articles