The Oppression of ‘Good’ Design

At the Bold Italic SUM conference today, Zach Klein, in response to the question, what advice would he give to the audience to cultivate their creativity, he said, the death of MySpace was a travesty. The audience laughed, but he meant it seriously. It was a travesty because through making their own pages, a whole generation was learning how to make a web page – they might have been ugly, or dissonant or chaotic – but that is what creativity looks like and by taking that kind of freedom away, we have failed.

I felt like this was an especially potent observation. Perhaps the same thing happened when cubicles were designed. Instead of prescribing ‘good’ design – users should be empowered to design themselves – and go through a journey of doing bad work before finding their voice.

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