The current model of living is all about money; this sees greed at the forefront of most industries and it has put the world in a precarious position, not to mention taking a toll on the large percentage of the population who aren't involved in the making process, but are the main targets of the market model. Society needs new innovations now, more than ever and the social model is the best way to accomplish the considerable changes to help people live their best lives. "While the role of other functions with marketing is continuously researched and measured, it is obvious that the role of design has been neglected" (Schroeder, 2002). This paper serves to explain how co-existence between models with social as the focus can work to benefit all instead of one, especially through a design perspective.
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Looking at the basis of the market model, it could be said that "market orientation is related to superior performance, sales growth and new product success" (Atuahene-Gima, 1995). Although this statement makes it seem straightforward, its greatest drive is the consumers for which it responds to. Through the current needs users express, the market must also face the future needs with product and service development; this model acts on strategic systematic variables and is not human-oriented like the social model. While the market model creates profit and enhancements, the consequences hurt more than it helps; "physical/spatial domains...comprised of all things created by humans such as objects [and] buildings" (Chon, 2018) can cause added stress and poor health in communities which inevitably wears on people who need to look after others.
Having a market model being so mainstream means that "design is most often understood by the public as an artistic practice...one reason why there is not much more support for social design services is the lack of research to demonstrate what a designer can contribute to human welfare" (Chon, 2018). With the market model allowing people to collectively suffer with anxieties brought on by the current way of living, the need for an increased role in designers from the outset of designs is critical. Together, the social and market model can work together to create a holistic society by adopting design orientation which can be defined as;
"a crucial factor of integrating different elements in different levels of a company, focused on the customers' conscious and latent needs. It is seen as an organizational model that uses design throughout the company as a transformational process. Design orientation represents an organizational vision and includes the set of conscious, reflective, and creative ways of conceiving, planning, and making of products and services that generate value for the customers and which enable them to engage in their individual or social endeavors" (Venkatesh et al., 2012).
By combining both of these models, people can experience new possibilities and potentials in many industries leading to satisfaction between products and their relationships with them.
"Designers are uniquely positioned to address the challenges and problems affecting society and culture with human-centred, empathic approaches for the production of models, services and solutions" (Chon, 2018); because of this, they are a great resource for the social model and playing a role in social intervention. With a varied approach, designers along with human service providers can conduct interviews and surveys to gather relevant research to best help users suffering from the market model and bolster the need for change in consumer attitudes, as well as, product designers.
Further, by working in teams to observe people in social situations, lacking social needs can be determined. By developing socially responsible products, the social model will become integrated with the market model to balance the scale throughout key domains promoting well-being in communities. The need to embrace a unified model of living can be seen in the lives of children who are affected by the current model. Introducing education for students to study the social model will bring about new success through collaboration of varying design skills and could be acquired through internships within various industries.
"The social innovation concept has expanded the scope of design's role in society by means of fostering transparency and community involvement to produce contributions extending beyond the individual designer to impact culture and society" (Chon, 2018). A case study in Singapore explored the practice of the social model in dedicated spaces developed for social sustainability. "It is against this cultural landscape that social activities forge and cultivate communal involvement, interaction and connection. Designing and integrating socially inclusive spaces and programmes provide sites for social life, fostering shared identity and belonging among the human and non-human actors of local communities" (Chon, 2018).
The project which saw the creation of new public housing was successfully designed through the development of an app which allowed communities individual voices during the design and development phases. In the end, the creative recommendations by communities led to a successful cohesion between contributing parties and designers with a human-centered design that addressed many of the disregarded social inequalities the current model wasn't made for, recognizing that everyone is unique is necessary for a successful social model.
In conclusion, "designers are no longer proponents of products and for passive groups of users but catalyses for larger networks and systems to effect change in culture and society (Morelli, 2007). By allowing design professionals to study social situations and collaborate with leaders in the market industry, current thinking can evolve for the betterment of all societies. It is through asking questions and exploring other cultures that change for the better will come about. Education must facilitate the learning of both social and market models for a successful balanced future concerned with human value however, a social model must become more prominent or innovation through the current model won't matter.
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