One of my favorite groups of designers, CITIZEN:Citizen, has just launched a new blog that I think is extremely interesting. It's called Virtually Mine. Here's an explanation from their press release:
In opposition to current trends of glamorising design as elitist and expensive work, Virtually Mine celebrates the everyday and the personal asking one to rethink their possessions and explore how they value the objects in their life.
For the exhibition in Houston, visitors were invited to bring their own objects or designs into the gallery. Each item was photographed, recorded, tagged with a unique ID and added to the digital archive. Each guest was also asked to write about what the object meant to him or her. This information and the objects digital record was then uploaded to the virtual archive.
This whole idea truly calls into question the qualifications of good design. Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" was very possibly the most important work of art in the 20th-Century, because it said "it is art, only and precisely because an artist says it's art." C:C is almost taking that back away from the world of Design by divorcing the objects' value from beauty and aesthetics, and handing it over to things like Use, History, and Memory. It also poses an important question about what the role of the curator really should be.