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Rethinking Design and Interiors > Preface: Rethinking Design - Pg. 6

Preface: Rethinking Design Susan S. Szenasy Editor-in-Chief, Metropolis Magazine It is no secret to any observant person today that every profes- sion and every process is in crisis. Approaches that were inven- ted and then matured in the previous centuries feel hopelessly out of date. And all signs indicate that we are not yet prepared to meet the crisis. In many parts of the industrialized world the quick-fix mentality trumps the deliberate, systematic approach that could create long-term policies befitting a democracy. What brings this ineffectuality to crisis proportions is that we operate in a global economy characterized by the instant movement of capital while the people on the ground ­ with their local needs, wisdom, and material resources ­ are left to fend for themselves. To understand this new context, we must expand our thinking to include the overarching needs of our time: dramatic and catas- trophic environmental degradation worldwide, rapid and volu- minous global communication, and unprecedented and life- changing technological innovation. These developments call for a new way of thinking about our world at every scale, in every culture, in every geographic location. Like other endeavors, de- sign, that thoughtful human act which gives shape to all cultures, must be recast to embrace systems thinking.