This issue of The Design Between features two articles from designers who are focused on solving problems and improving people’s lives. Their work demonstrates the importance of attributes such as empathy and inclusiveness in order to connect with their chosen professions on a different level. We are also thrilled to be able to share some work from the next generation of problem-solvers.
‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
It’s a loaded question which inspires irritation, anxiety, boredom, mechanical responses, eye-rolling or groaning. We’ve all heard it, probably even asked it, and it encourages a job title as a response.
So what can we ask instead?
2019 for me is the year of children and young people’s voices. With worldwide climate strikes built from the voice of one inspirational teenager, young people are living up to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s1 assertion that children and young people are indeed the critical agents of change for a better world. They have shown that they have a voice, and that they want to be heard. Yet many of our leaders have demonstrated little understanding or desire to listen to the next generation.
This year I have been gifted with a range of opportunities to consult directly with children, teenagers, young adults in Australia and in Gaza. They have generously given time and insight into what they are thinking about, what worries them and what they hope for their future. What is clear in the interactions I’ve had regardless of where they grow up, children are less focused on what they want to ‘be’, and more focused on what kind of a world they want to create, what problems they want to solve, and what attributes they value.
The Design Between encourages young people to speak out and we ask our readers to listen to the messages young people are imparting. This issue we are sharing the work of year 8 students from Melbourne’s east who were asked to develop ads for sustainable living. I followed up their work by interviewing two of the students whose initials only have been used to protect their privacy. All of their work has been reproduced without correction or editing – these are their voices and their messages are clear.
Q. What are the main future issues that concern you and why?
AF I would be happy to give my feedback. Climate change, because if our generation doesn’t do something about it, I fear the next generation will suffer for it. It is so important for me to protect all animals, because they were here before us.
SM Probably Climate Change, because it has the biggest impact on the environment that is still increasing rapidly and affecting both animals and plants. Especially global warming creating ocean acidification and coral bleaching that is irreversible.
Q. What issues do you see as potential disasters?
AF Climate change/global warming, political disagreements and deforestation.
SM Landfill not being used in the most sustainable way and the over use of plastics in supermarkets and production lines.
Q. What is the biggest disaster you think the world/Australia is facing?
AF Climate change/global warming.
SM The biggest disaster for Australia I think is the amount of wild bush fires that are destroying mass amount of land.
Q. If you were able to influence one change for the future, what would it be?
AF I would like to make people more aware of the dangers that we are causing.
SM It would be to change the issue of cyberbullying and the amount of time spent on devices.
Q. What is the number one thing you have learnt studying disasters this year?
AF I have learnt that lots of disasters are due to movement of the tectonic plates.
SM That when rebuilding after a disaster the people who were previously living in that place should be the ones to have a say in the rebuilding of their home and town through their culture not ours.
Q. What message do you have for adults?
AF You should stop and take a moment to look at the things you take part in destroying.
SM To not underestimate others you are helping, to treat our earth as a one only that we have and to use our resources sustainably.
Q. Any other burning disaster issues you would like to mention?
AF No, I’m fine thankyou.
SM Yes, that hunting wild animals for a sport or money should be band.
Do you have something to add to our conversation on The Design Between? We are now welcoming submissions for Issue 3, check out our submission guide.