Have we been asking the wrong questions?
Design has incredible power. A power that can be used in both a positive and negative way. It can also be used with intelligence as well as ignorance and laziness.
“Design is the ability to imagine a future and systematically execute that vision. So if you think about what all designers do, they’re all futurists. They’re all thinking about what’s going to happen. They’re going to make something new happen in the world. They’re all trying to make the world a better place.”
— Bruce Mau
Looking back at my career and the clients I have worked with, I came to realize our goal was always to create the best possible outcome for the problem however we often looked at this through a singular lens. We focused so much on the systems and design of the answer the environmental impact was left aside or added in as an afterthought or worse yet was left out on purpose due to client budget restrictions. The more I went back through my folio the more opportunities I saw that were missed. In fact not only would we have created a better footprint but would have made a more beautiful product. This can all be changed if the design mind is held within leadership positions, helping design the business models alongside the products and communications. Designers ultimately determine materials used, the way in which the product is promoted, how the consumer interacts and even how the environment is impacted by it.
Beyond design this led me to ask deeper questions both within my industry and outside.
The more I questioned the system, the issues and ultimately our future, a business model began to form and the more I shared my concept of part-time the stronger the structure became. Part-time would ultimately be an ecosystem of interlinking companies that serve to create solutions, opportunities, education, tools, questions and conversations that lead to a better future, a future that uses both critical and creative thinking to redesign humanities foundations and our footprint on this planet.
“Disruption is like an earthquake. Disruption has no purpose. It has no values. It has no organizing principle. It has no direction and it has no leadership… This is not what we want to bring into the world. What we want to bring into the world is revolution.”
— Jack Dorsey
We know the future will not be solved by the individual, it needs us as a whole to work as a community pulling together the best minds from across the globe to form teams that can truly solve the current issues, and build an infrastructure to avoid further ones. A collective to design a roadmap to recovery, a strategy that puts earth first and looks beyond bandage style solutions such as sustainability. We need to question our foundations to tackle the core issues such as trauma, education and healthcare and develop actionable solutions.
A merging of minds also means a merging of industries. We need to partner with the other side, the parts of the world that at times felt disconnected, distant or even we just didn’t have the knowledge to interact on the same level with. For me this was Venture Capital, I had been surrounded by it, even involved in it but I was no expert. I could see this world was feeding more bad than good. Exploding DTC for products we don’t need with no interest in the damage this whole market was doing to the planet. Do we really need more mattress brands? How many skin care products are going to “change the world” because they are celebrity backed? Do we need to really invest in more “influencers” that don’t influence for good?
I set out to learn everything I could, from reading books on mastering deal flows, value creation and raising a fund, to having one on one’s with some of the leading players in the game. It was then I started to discover the firms and funds that are putting their money where it counts and the beliefs, passion and drive to actually invest in a stronger, safer, longer and more beautiful future. This was a turning point for part-time, and one of the reasons most of the work we do will not be popping up weekly on design blogs and social media.
We are working to build a new future.
This requires intensive research, multiple partners, heavy investment and a strategy/communication plan that will bring what at first may be confronting, scary and uncertain into a positive light. We need to start seeing the climate crisis as a positive moment in time. We have the opportunity to change everything and design a tomorrow that doesn’t have a doomsday clock attached.
“People have always been good at imagining the end of the world, which is much easier to picture than the strange sidelong paths of change in a world without end.”
— Rebecca Solnit
In the coming months I will be announcing some incredible new partnerships for the studio that will allow this work to not only go ahead but speed up the process x10. From $300m+ across multiple climate tech funds to fortune 500 companies that all see joining forces and combining ideas, opinions, research and technology is the way forward.
Follow @partimestudio for the latest updates.