After mulling over some concepts put forward by star italian designer Enzo Mari, IDfuel's Dominic Muren has succinctly broken down the difference between designing for real need and designing for unnecessary consumption. Go check out Designs that Seem VS Designs that Are:
The truth is, designs that Seem will get you things. Money, promotions, top billing in business journals everywhere. But they won't solve the big problems.
...for those of you who do want to help the big problems, you've got to bite the bullet. Designs that Are don't come easy, and they can be hard sells, but when they work, they are the force that moves humanity forward.
"What really makes this design sell like crazy is that, while it really doesn't solve any huge problems, it tells a really good story, so it seems like it's solving all kinds of problems."
this sound familiar? sadly, "real design" versus "style" is a long running issue within the profession.
An excellent distinction. Thank you, Dawn. Designs that "Seem" can be rallying cries in the right hands, although others, toiling in the trenches, will actually implement the designs that "Are."