Ectovation: The Vocabulary of Inclusive Design

Notions by Norman, Blog | by IBC Shell Design | 01.01.2020

It’s time that our decision-making begins to look deeper into the process that leads to our design philosophy. Much more than merely cues of ‘right or wrong’, we’re searching and hungry for new ideas that not only excite us but also create renewed responsibility to our relationship with others and our planet.

When it looks as if the millennial mentality is overshadowing our ability to innovate in a proactive way, we’re more often feeling a sense of wonder in the broader perspective— the significance of our work from thought to fruition, and what occurs on our own unique journey.

Deepak Chopra recently touched on a spiritual likeness to this idea; one that is essentially a metaphor for the process of creating and producing products & services. As he notes in the San Francisco Gate

“It is beginning to sink in… Everything exists in consciousness and nowhere else. Since this realization seems totally foreign to anyone who identifies with the separate self, we need to discuss how to get from A to B, where A is the state of separation and B is the state of wholeness.”

In a multitude of ways we can see a markedly similar shift in the world of design. It isn’t about a specific demographic audience; the millennials, the earthy-crunchy or organic junkie. Instead, it’s about the wholeness of intriguing innovation for all. Creation with a grand idea that invokes a profound result across cultural fences.

Take a look at what’s developing – it’s more than merely eco-friendly, or sustainable, or renewable products and packaging. Look at UNESCO’s Current Mosaic of Change – celebrating 70 years of humanitarian aid. It illustrates how human compassion can be captured in an object. This installation, currently showcased in Paris, has become even more appropriate after the city’s recent terror attacks.

It’s also apparent in the work of Australian design firm Avooq. They recently debuted a “free 3D-printed aquaponics system that acts like a tiny closed loop and ecologically balanced habitat.” How does it work? “This natural filtering system provides clean and oxygenated water in a symbiotic loop back to the fish. With this holistic system, hydroponics and aquaculture are combined in one innovative 3D-printed design!”

Even when certain ideas are thought of as ‘kitsch’ or in ‘hipster’ territory they can provide a valued more meaningful and lasting contribution.

The question: As creators: Are we constantly curating a better place and not just an improved product or package?

Or as consumers: Are we proactive in passing on what’s truly important in lieu of what’s cool?  

Enjoy the scenery. Work for personal profit and fulfillment, but do not ignore the path of wholeness and inclusion.