Economic and industrial models are crumbling. Economists everywhere seem incapable of predicting or solving problems facing Western countries. The reality is that universities of economics, recently recognized by the Shanghai ranking for the quality of their research, have not turned out the “finders”, who alongside researchers, are expected to provide solutions to calm the stormy seas that lie ahead.
Moreover, the exact and objective science that is technology, which once put its trust in humanity-based progress, has gone so far in its quest for the “knowledge of things” that it has managed to spread panic by objectifying progress and the end of the world. GMOs, genetic decoding, atoms, etc. so many topics on which the all-knowing powers-that-be astound and threaten us with the best and worst of scenarios.
Globalization, internationalization, the intermingling of populations and cultures challenge our cultural references of value and meaning. Morals take a backseat to the law as our notions of right and wrong, freedom, justice, respect of nature, others and oursleves, manners, etc. are thrown out of whack as a result of different cultural approaches. These shifting contexts are particularly favorable to design.