THE 9 THINGS HE’LL REMEMBER THE MOST ABOUT 2020
9. THE ETERNAL OPTIMIST
Well, I saved the best for last. If David Carson is the Keith Richards of graphic design, Bruce Mau is some kind of cross between Barrack Obama and Buckminster Fuller. Not any time in recent history have we seen a practitioner so unapologetically dissolve the boundaries among creative disciplines, from graphic, industrial, environmental and experiential design to art and publishing.
This summer saw his latest publishing effort, a massive book called MC24 – Bruce Mau’s 24 principles for designing massive change in your life and work. It is a cri de coeur of hope and optimism for the power of design as an agent of positive change in all spheres of human activity. Some may say that Mau’s philosophy is still anchored in the increasingly discredited notion of designer as heroic problem solver, but for my money, design is a core human skill that has never had more potential for doing good than it has right now. As Bruce says, we really have no choice but to be optimistic.
And that seems to be the perfect note on which to end this look back at the darkest 12 months of our lives. Even for a crusty old critic like myself, hope suddenly has new currency and optimism really does appear to be the only sensible response to the precarity of our existence. I wish everyone a happier year than the one that still hasn’t ended.