Or as Zygmunt Bauman’s put it; we now live in liquid modernity, which means that the individual are more and more involved in planning their lives and careers in short, time projects and episodes.
There is no solid forms or institutions that we can rely on. It’s no time for it. This means that the individual must act, plan actions and calculate the likely gains and losses of acting under conditions of endemic uncertainty. In that context design and art I would say comes into a situation that is completely different than before. One major implication is that Design has become more about exploring our dreams of solidness. I would give you one example. The kitchen machine and the trend of doing your own bread. In Sweden it has become a tremendous trend with buying or doing your own levain bread. For those of you who do not know levain is a French leaven and gives you fantastic great bread. The process of making it is not easy and a leaven is like a baby that you feed in your refrigerator. How come this explosion of leaven? Some would say it has to do with that we are more into back to nature and interest of having real stuff instead of preservative food. Others would argue it has to do with that we have more money to spend on it. I will argue that it has to do with a kind of substitute of the liquid life most of us live in, and that this trend represents a longing for living a solid life. There are Kitchen bakery machines on the market that more or less look the same since it was launched many years ago. And they still win the contests! For example this piece from Ankarsrum in Sweden http://assistent.nu/en/default.aspx
It was originally designed back in 1940. My mother had one but in those days it was Electrolux who made them. If you now buy one you can use the same parts as to a machine that was produced 70 years ago! But coming back to the user in 1940 compared to the user today you will have a long-distance call to make. In those days the machine represented the future, a tool for modernity and was a real help for the mothers back then. But the machines are used today to make the same things. But today you buy it not because it helps you to survive the modern life. Instead you buy it because you are not happy what modernity has produced. It has become a key for finding back to what it was all about – what a good bread could actually taste and also a longing for understanding and controlling the chain of life. Its connects you to nature and the understanding what you actually are eating.