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Works That Work, No.7,

Editorial

by Peter Biľak (264 words)

This issue of WTW strives to probe beyond the visible aspect of design. We look at the invisible organisational principles shaping our lives.

Design is commonly considered to be a surface attribute, and generally speaking, what distinguishes a ‘design’ object from an ordinary one is not necessarily its function, but its appearance (and of course the price tag that comes with it). In Works That Work we aim to present a less rarefied definition of design by focusing on the actual impact of objects and ideas on their users. Our stories are not about how designers can make their works more stylish, but about how their works can make our lives better.

This issue also strives to probe beyond the visible aspect of design. We look at the invisible principles that shaped San Francisco’s informal but highly effective social commuting system, which has been used by hundreds of thousands of people since its start in the 1970s. We also look at systems that, conversely, aim to make the invisible visible, such as those documented in two pieces about innovative postal addressing in areas which the regular post considered inaccessible. The absence of objects is the subject of a story from Rwanda, one of the first countries to ban plastic bags, and thus pioneering effective environmental protection and sustainable use of resources. These examples help us define what the word design may mean today.

Peter Bilak is the editor of WTW magazine.

This article comes from Works That Work magazine, No.7.
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