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contribution versus consommation

From the economy of consumption to the economy of contribution

Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. All are leading the way in a radical change in the relationships among the market, consumers and goods and services providers. Emerging from it is a new kind of marketing resulting from the rising presence of customers, who are, in turn, becoming more visible in the design of the products they consume. Within it, they come across a kind of virtue, one encouraging them to better govern their own life as reflected in the governance defined by Thomas Locke, “Every man is, by birth and by nature, free and responsible, and therefore, has himself to govern.” There again, they salvage a bit of humanity at a time when the society of consumption has raised fears of falling subject to its multinationals.

There is currently a shift underway from an economy of consumption to one of contribution wherein each will have the opportunity to better govern his/her consumption habits.

If marketing has governed the society of consumption, then design shall prevail over that of contribution. From all standpoints, design is the discipline that provides meaning and value, and because it seeks to set itself apart from the rest in search of individuality, it is, likely, that the role of the designer will take precedence over that of the marketer.

Having often criticized both the society of consumption and advertising sector for having alienated people, design is the means that enables them to recover some humanity found within that of contribution. The astounding emergence of design schools already bears witness to this profound change.

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