Essay: Design for social participation

Design for social participation

Nowadays we can find design everywhere. For different people this word has different definitions, design might mean many things to many people. When I tried to Google the meaning of the “design in general” I became totally confused, but when I specified the group of design, I was able more easily explore the topic. Of cause, there are still big variety of opinions but it gave a possibility to find the most appropriate recognition for myself. When I started to explore the “design for social participation” I recognized that it is close to term “social design” which helps to people active participate in everything what is going on in the world. Teaming up with GOOD magazine, DESIGN 21 created an online contest to see how people defined their ideas of social design. As wrote the Blogger John Hoysa: “Social design is design for everyone. It can be social network, graffiti or even a simple “No Parking” sign or even the signs on a restroom door. It is design that we just absorb into our life with out even knowing it”. In her definition I pay attention to the world “life” and understand that in a modern world there are exist two lives where is working social design: virtual and non-virtual and it means that also exist two ways of social participation for design.

The first example which appeared to me when I was thinking bout “social design” is the signs, which everyone understand everywhere and follow them. Through the time by different designers were created the hugest number of  different signs which all of nationalities tried to make general and equal. Some of the signs are really exist and using by people because were exactly created by the community. Some are still in the developing process. Designers from the whole world understand that people are everywhere different and the common social design have to answer for different religious, nationalities, traditions, languages that to involve users to participate in it. The social design has to be innovative and intelligent, viable, feasible and desirable. What is more, it should be very simple, that everyone has to understand and it should dispose, maintain and not frighten in our non-virtual, but REAL life.

Applying design thinking to complex social issues makes the process of developing social design and give opportunity to users participate in it. Each issue in non-virtual life is a real and has to help to real people solve their problems through social design. As an example, the road signs which more or less in the world are common and exist. Of cause, there are still negotiations about some rules but the hugest number of them are clear for drivers from whole the world, because the social design explain it.

The same situation is with navigation instructions, where by pictures or other signs we understand what to do (for instance such commands, where exit, use elevator, turn to the right, the staircase is there and so on). That to socialize people in non-virtual life in social design was made a lot of things, there are obvious almost everywhere, every time and for each of the new invention coming new instructions with support of social design, which makes the life easier, equal and bright

The one of the main ideas of social design is to give a possibility to people develop themselves and interact. Design makes the process easier and more clear. The virtual social design started to be very popular when appear the term “body online”, the period of time when people became addicted to virtual life and have own values over there. Started to work a term “online life” and social design in the virtual life became very actual.

Nowadays, the period of using social network became very popular for generation. People started to spent a lot of time in social (virtual) reality and design help to be active users in it, be developed in this sphere and interact. For example, the “Flickr”, “Craigslist” and “MySpace” had advantage of social design principles, because include the notion of design for constant change and making the process of using this programmes very simple.

In the Internet you can find the webpages which offering creation of the virtual social design, giving advises and examples in it.  For example, the webpage virtual design staff making the social virtual life more interesting and offering the variety of social opportunities. http://virtualdesignstaff.com/social-graphics/

In my opinion, the social virtual design start from the life in different social networks when population recognize that this way of communication easier and faster, where you can be another person but also real, create new protagonist and believe in it.

            “The Internet nowadays is all about social network and connected with social design” – by http://www.awwwards.com/10-social-networks-for-web-designers.html awwwards Blog. Everything in the social virtual life is based on the social design and it really interact people. That to live in the virtual life you have to follow the social design and adapt over there. Creative networks and memberships are possible nowadays through the virtual life, people are making shopping there, buying food, pets, exploring the different places. For all of it, was done well the social design in virtual life. And this life is also exist nowadays and plays the huge role.

            Design was created for people, that to make their life easier and more interesting. People every day creating new objects in social design that to follow the needs of users which are growing day by day. The human recourse is unlimited and will develop constantly. Virtual and non-virtual lives consist in social design which will help to people actively participate in everything what is going on.

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