For thousands of years design has been the tool through which we humans have modified our environment in a quest for better living. Everything that surrounds us is, to some extent, an artificial construction: cities, streets, buildings, tables, chairs and lamps. Even that which we often perceive as natural has in reality been directly or indirectly transformed by human action.

There are many ways to understand design and its ethical dimension, that Bruno Latour links to the ability to distinguish between good and bad design, compels us to constantly question not just what we design but the way we design.

This space gathers and organizes some ideas about design which are occasionally materialized in the form of lights, furniture, and other objects by the Catalan Industrial Designer, Research Master's Degree in Art and Design, Jordi Blasi.

We humans form part of a network of links in which conventions, norms and rituals are formed, maintained and modified by articulating material spaces and objects, in which matter becomes an essential mediator in the complex social relations in which objects act as agents with trajectories, propensions and tendencies of their own. Design, by influencing our interaction with objects, questioning and enquiring into old ways of doing things, has the ability to condition this conglomerate of relations.

In engaging with the world, we find things. Things which we apprehend, which we mentally understand, which we simply know. Things with which we engage and to which we give value. Based on this relationship with things, we arrive at knowing the notion of the world. Martin Heidegger considers that this relationship is established only according to usefulness: objects are there to serve us. However, Sara Ahmed holds that the relations which people establish with objects are based on empathy.

In Object-Oriented Ontology, Graham Harman situates everything that exists on the same plane. We all find ourselves on the same ontological level, nothing and no one is more important than another subject or object. This school of thought rejects the privilege of human existence over the existence of non-human objects and holds that objects exist independently of the perception we may have of them, questioning the relationship which each entity maintains with itself according to universally shared elements that constitute its identity.

As designers we have the mission of creating objects that help people in their daily lives, defining comprehensible products that enter into dialogue with the users, establishing emotional ties that predispose them to last.

Useful and beautiful objects in an ethical sense, in the manner of Plato, in relation to the enthusiasm generated by the possibility of building a better reality, as Peter Sloterdijk suggests, or as the opening between the real object and its sensitive qualities, as Graham Harman interprets the idea beauty.

In the book News from Nowhere , William Morris outlines a future in which the world is presented to us as fairer, free of class, money or competitive trade, where the crafts prevail over machines and people live happily, producing strictly what they need. Morris’s utopian vision undervalues the potential of industry for making objects accessible manufacturing them more efficiently.

However, faced with the ecological threat of climate change, he anticipates the collapse in which today we see the threat to the material conditions of our own existence. A new reality that, as designers, forces us to cease to legitimize power and take notice of our vulnerability.