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Catalyst: Designing Desire:

The DNA of Desire and Design


Catalyzing the Conversation

What to Expect

Catalyst was designed to stimulate thinking and encourage conversation about the role of strategic design in defining and developing an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future. we have included numerous external links throughout the text and in the form of “related resources” at the end of each article. Catalyst is accompanied by a blog that is our means of continuing the conversation between publications. Blog posts are related to, as well as unique from, those in the digital publication. you can find the Catalyst blog on our website:




30 © the Design Management Program of Pratt Institute, December 2010

01 Catalyzing the Conversation 02 Catalyst Perspective 04 From the Catalyst Blog

06 Catalyst Voices Defining Desire in the 21st Century The Desire to be #1

40 Infographic: Where Americans are Spending their money

10 The Economies of Desire

42 Tools for Catalyzing Change:

the next Catalyst theme will be Designing Desire. Please submit article concepts and Ventures and exploration notes to:

Establishing a Creative Economy The Three Ps of Desire: Progeny, Power, and Purpose Catalyst Perspective

Managing Editor: Kevin rorick Editorial Board: Dante Clemons Giselle Carr Mary McBride Denise tahara Visual Design: anke stohlmann Editors: eileen Kiley & Denise tahara

Dr. Mary McBride Director of the Design Management Program at Pratt Institute

Catalyst Voices: Adam Zoltowski

This issue of CATALYST demonstrates that it is possible to design a future with robust wellbeing as the core of the design brief. We present research that argues that design-driven innovation is essential to the engagement of users in the selection of choices and adoption of behaviors that enhance wellbeing. As we send out this issue, we watch the petrochemical economy threaten the livelihoods of citizens and the security of states as BP continues to mop up its mess. The petrochemical economy is, at core, an unsustainable one. It now produces economic value for a few at a significant cost to the many. It trades off human health for limited short-term return on investment. And, as we now see with BP, it puts our world at risk.

Defining Desire in the 21st Century

We invite you, our readers, to move beyond petroleum and its politics of loss. We invite you to read about the individuals and organizations designing for a new economy and redefining the role strategic design plays in policy-making and social innovation in communities and countries D around oura shared world. We invite esire me ns different things to you We desire that space cal web design and online advertisto act on your intuition, inspire eachpeople. other and useatyour different Taken face skills value, and ing. In that industry, the desires of 44 the word desireexchange is typically intelligence to change the way we trade, andassociated create eco- to connect, a place voters are played upon constantly to Catalysts with sexuality. Yet desire takes many elect public officials. Barack Obama’s nomic value. where we can feel forms: the desire for connection, the historic 2008 campaign played off of the Listener André Corrêa desire to obtain a certain image in the the nationwide desire for change after human, and facebook d’Almeida eight years of George W. Bush. That Dr. Mary McBride eyes of others, and the desire for more gives that to us in the coveted items and products. Compadesire was so strong that it picked up Marcello Minoliti nies that use design well understand a grassroots swell of support. The now closest way possible. and use desires to sell goods and infamous poster by Shephard Fairey services that they believe will benefit was plastered everywhere, and the their consumer’s lives. Obama campaign used new media to understood that companies need to Think about all of the things you a revolutionary degree to help win the The DNA of Desire and Design 1 sell on the promise of fulfilling human own, or have bought in your life. Did election. They turned online enthusineed. Apple has been able to create a you want the television, or is it some asm into on the ground support that cult of users obsessed with the image other thing that the television gives you brought voters together in a way that of being a ‘mac-head’. Whether or not that you desire. The television could hadn’t been done before.1 That camExecutive Summary Apple products are indeed superior to serve several purposes: an escape from paign understood how to use design steve Masterson, CeO of Kiska, discusses the need to balance the desires of designers with the desires of consumers and our enviother brands is not the point. They are the mundane for some, a symbol of to appeal to voters desires, while the ronment. Masterson offers a brief history of product design and speaks to its ability to create desire in consumers. He emphasizes instantly recognizable and help create status for others, or an excuse to have McCain campaign did not. Though as By sTEVE MAsTERsOn need for organizations to marry their business and design strategies in an effective, sustainable, and eco-conscious manner. a sense of inclusion, a sense of cool in guests on Sunday to watch football. We effective as their online design efforts their possession. I can recall the days don’t desire the television itself, with all were in recognizing desires, they failed before owned an creating iPhone, watching of its circuitry and sleekD technology, but at firstresponds to recognizeto thethe power of the Designing esire’ implies twoIthings: a design that rational my friends use their new toy as if it was rather the result that we believe owning Fairey poster, initially not wanting to and technical demands of a product, and creating desire in people for that product. the greatest thing on earth. I didn’t the television will give us. use it at all. Had they not, it would have need but deep down I desired one. tobeen In marketing and advertising, is a different altogether. Companies thatit develop anone, integrated design process capture thatelection emotion within I wanted to experience the same thing their design strategy create desire for products that people will want to possess. as they were experiencing. I wanted The Desire for Connection to be a part of Product the club. Now that I do understand Design can make us buyThey things,work elect designers desire. Adam Zoltowski is the executive editor own an iPhone, that sense of belonging leaders. Design shapes our behaviors. of Catalyst and is a participant in the toisalign the technical demands and ergonomics of a or inclusion taken for granted, and How many times have you bought Pratt Institutes Design Management a desire for a new form of inclusion is products because they have a better product with targeted, tailored and enticing aesthetics. Program. Prior to his involvement with likely to occur. The hot new item of this package or a better designed adverCatalyst he was a web designer in A good design captures the attention of the user. It year, the iPad, is a likely successor. tisement? Probably more than you washington, DC where he specialized in Before my enrollmenthas in The Pratt The popularity Mad Men online advertising for political candidates the ability realize. to stimulate sales,of influence i g i TA L Dfour eSigN : T h ehas DeS igNer iS The and non-profit organizations. Institute, I worked in the field of politioverDthe last years brought

18 Establishing a Creative Economy 30 Design is

Drive, Frozen Desire, The Fearful Rise of Markets

Executive Editor: adam Zoltowski

Designing wellbeing requires an understanding of interconnectedness and interdependency. Wellbeing cannot be designed in after business strategy. Ideally, the intention of wellbeing informs all we shape, make and use. In this issue of CATALYST, we explore how the strategic design of products and processes can create economic value while enhancing wellbeing. When strategic design intelligence is used at the “fuzzy front end,” it can create alternatives that are cost effective and toxin free. Chemicals of concern can be screened out and wellbeing designed in. This issue provides examples of food-based paint that smells like a milk shake and contains no polyvinyl acrylic and welding processes that reduce the use of argon gas to zero. Both alternatives are cost effective and contribute to wellbeing.

Desire, in contemporary psychology, is often grouped into the following three categories: Progeny, Power, and Purpose. They represent at the highest level, the desires of all human beings, with all other desires falling underneath them or acting as a way of obtaining them. The desire for these three things are the impetus for all other desires such as possession, love, connection, money, and other worldly things. These desires spark innovation in a number of different design fields. The desire for progeny can be fed through fashion, clothing, and other ways of projecting a desirable sexual image of ones self. Power can also be fed in this manner, but also through the design of cars, homes, and similar status symbols. Purpose is often met with designs that enable people and provide access to information that opens avenues of exploration 18 and growth, and provide connection with other people who share their mission.

1. Progeny

2. Power

3. Purpose

Descendants or

Possession of control,

Something set up


emotion and develop brand value. Great design meets desire at

L i ST e N e r

to light exactly how advertisers use our underlying needs to sell us things we may or may not need. There is an amazing scene at the end of season two of the show, where Don Draper, the enigmatic Creative Director of Sterling Cooper pitches their idea for the Kodak Carousel, a slide projector that in years to come would become an incredibly popular product. The presentation he delivers plays brilliantly on the desire to connect with days that have passed us by, the desire for nostalgia, with the product acting as the activator of desire: “Nostalgia - it’s delicate, but potent… ”nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”2 It’s a powerful moment, one that plays off of the most basic of human desires, the Desire for love, the desire for connection and security. Platforms like Facebook, Myspace, and other online portals serve the same need, just in a different way. We desire that space to connect, a place where we can feel human, and facebook gives that to us in the closest way possible. Yet, much like the carousel has died away, so will destinations like Facebook, replaced with new ways to fill those same needs. Social media is already evolving to include point of purchase experiences. It is moving beyond the desire for connection and possession by combining the two into one online social experience. Desires

Digital Design Process

Ira Kaufman PhD President, Digital Marketing strategist, Entwine Digital ( Ira challenges senior executives in business and organizations to clarify their goals and translate them into a consistent Brand and Integrated Media Marketing strategy. He combines 30 years of rich experiences with businesses and nonprofits to leverage the power of social technologies for marketing, recruitment and organizational development. Ira collaborates with a team of experts to design interactive environments that create long-term value and rOI. He has a passion for digital/social media and how it can make a positive impact

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The DNA of Desire and Design 7

CATALYST Thesis Presentation  

Final Thesis Presentation for CATALYST Project

CATALYST Thesis Presentation  

Final Thesis Presentation for CATALYST Project