Posted by Amy Persson on May 5, 2011
This year at the Milan Furniture Fair, it appeared that the focus had shifted from the products on display to the plight of the designers themselves and whether the industry is financially sustainable.
It began with the twitter hashtag #milanuncut, supported by the popular design blog Dezeen which acted as a platform to lift the lid on design. Coinciding with the fair, the aim was to get designers, journalists and manufacturers to engage in an honest discussion about the industry.
The focus quickly shifted onto unpaid internships, with record graduate unemployment and the feeling that the industry is becoming exploitative with many people working for free with no prospect of paid work. The royalty system was also brought into question with many designers with pieces in production not being able to cover their rent.
Overall it’s been beneficial, and perhaps long overdue, for the design industry to turn the focus on itself and look towards changing and adapting. Perhaps next year will bring a design industry that is different to the one we see today.
Are you a designer who has had a similar experience? Or someone who works in the creative industries and feels you're not being paid fairly for your work? Do you think the creative industries are exploitative? We'd like to hear about it. Comment away.