A meandering essay that visits semantics, Darwinism and aesthetics, professor at the Oslo School of Architecture Jan Michl argues for a perspective on design that is less solitary and myopic and more cooperative and historical. In other words, redesign.
The concept of redesign has the advantage that it actually contains the word design, i.e. the concept retains the individual creator dimension of the word design while at the same time, through the prefix re-, emphasising that the individual creative process has the character of step-by-step changes in, improvements on, and new combinations of solutions that already exist. In this way, the concept reminds us that every complex product that is improved embraces a large number of clever solutions that earlier designers have contributed, and which the latest designer freely adopts, makes into her own, and builds on. In other words, the concept of redesign underlines the fact that – both as process and product – design always contains a collective, cooperative and cumulative dimension.