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You Say You Want a Devolution? Seen in Vanity Fair

When I opened up the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine, I noted with interest an article titled “You Say You Want a Devolution.” “The face of American culture used to change radically every decade or two,” writes Kurt Andersen, “but 1992 and 2012 look disturbingly alike.”  So, in light of Taylor Design’s 20th anniversary, I thought I would investigate.

The author basically puts forth the premise that since 1992, even though technology and the world economy have changed dramatically in the last twenty years, the appearance of the world hasn’t changed much at all. Compare the decades of the 20th century and each one has distinct characteristics and unique cultural output, in the form of movies, architecture, music, literature and so on. But compare 1992 vs. 2012—can you see any difference? Isn’t Lady Gaga just a reincarnation of Madonna?

Mr. Andersen poses two reasons for this phenomenon:

1.) Because of how rapidly technology and the workplace are changing, people are comforted by a world that looks similar to the one we have always inhabited.

2.) It’s cheaper for business. Because we’ve gone from Mom and Pop stores to mega stores (Target, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks), companies don’t necessarily want to, or can’t, spend money changing their brand, image or style.

I’m not quite certain how all of this affects the world of design, but it certainly is interesting to ponder. Please visit Vanity Fair and search for Kurt Andersen. Let us know what you think!

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