He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone! The cardinal sins are present in our everyday lives and the temptation to commit one – if not all – of them is enormous. After taking an introspective look at design and designers, we have felt the fires of hell burning very close by. So, in order to save our souls and stir up a little debate while we’re at it, here is a dose of self-criticism laced with humour.
Lust, the sin usually associated with sex, thrives on thoughts of obsession and excess.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry other than design in which the more the experts learn, the more warped and obsessed with their work they become.
Of all the design disciplines (fashion, interior design, graphic design, etc.), perhaps product design is the most obsessive of all. Constantly surrounded by objects designed by other designers, the fixation for design borders on the demented. Nothing escapes analysis from the designer’s peculiar point of view, a point of view which collides head-on with the expression “Excellence is the enemy of good”.
Slothfulness? No, thank you. We’re not about to claim that designers are lazy, but we could say that we are a bit apathetic when it comes to asking questions.
Knut Yran once said that customers sometimes ask for a bridge when what they need is to cross a river.
Besides listening, designers have to know how to ask questions to get the most information from customers and find out what they really need. A project is a dialogued process that solves problems and covers real needs. Two separate monologues, on the other hand, can lead us to the conclusion that the other person understands nothing of what we’re explaining. And that is frustrating indeed.
People who commit the sin of envy want something that someone else has, and think that they are the ones who need it.
Normally designers love their job, and we can safely say that they’re only envious of their colleagues: those designers who have been struck by a divine light, and have found the perfect solution to a problem. Or designers surrounded by the goddesses of creativity, who have managed to retain the spark and turn it into an endless source of inspiration.