Imagine designing an application. If you really go into it, you have to do a lot of programming to get a certain level of depth into it. But when you are finished, the only thing the user experiences is the interface that lays on top of it all the hard work you did. By going back into the code and changing the variables, you change the whole app. Everything that we see and experience what we is directly influenced by the meta that lays underneath. That’s the dark matter.
Talking about dark matter in the context of design, we talk about the things that are not visual at first but influence the outcome. It’s all about the context, the environment where our product or service is taking place. The core of dark matter is the understanding of the complex structure that is behind every design. I mean most of the designers are all about the shiny end because that’s what sells at the end. But if we really want our products to be as useful as possible, we need to dig deeper into the matter.
In the End, we are designing for people. And that doesn’t mean it as to be as fancy as possible. It has to be valuable. Again, value is not connected with the pricing. Value comes when you actually think about peoples needs. Where do they live? What is their life about and what do they really need.
As designers, we can have a direct influence on that. But creating something that is a symbiosis between the meta end the matter, one has to be able to understand complex policies and environments and has to figure how to communicate it. As I sad the dark matter is nothing we can see it’s something you have to figure out. In my opinion it’s really important to make this kind of thoughts because only by rethinking stuff you can truly re-design it.
Another interesting thought is the concept of the greater context. Peter Behrens, a German Industrial Designer, designed a house as part of the ,,Damstädter Künstlerkolonie” (Art community) where he designed everything from the products, to the interior over to the architecture. He thought about everything in it’s context so it all matched together and created this so called synthesis of arts.
Finally I want to say, everything has to be turned and watched from another perspective. There are problems everywhere and stuff’s getting complex so we really should be aware that we can make a change if we want to.