If we want to find ways for design to support life and not make it more difficult, we should not design for consumption, but for life. This approach follows a different, existential goal: it is about creating better relationships. Only when the interdependence of all living things is respected by what we call design can people and the environment in which they live be treated with consideration. Seen in this way, design is not limited to surface aesthetics, growth, consumption, or to certain areas such as graphic design, product design, interaction design, architecture, … but above all it encompasses the fundamental ability to perceive and co-create our environment, which in turn presupposes and influences a relationship with our environment. Design therefore has the potential to influence relationships and to convey them in many ways. 


Markus Rathgeb’s Design for Life occupies positions that are unusual in terms of content and perspective. In terms of content, the text is at the threshold—or better: blank space—between three disciplines: design, economics and philosophy. From this perspective, a way of thinking comes in that relates epistemically and linguistically to these three disciplines and leads them to a new, productive thinking position. Productive because by connecting disciplines, innovative combinations of ideas are possible, which means that disciplinary thinking can evolve in all directions. Furthermore Design for Life, in its way of thinking and its linguistic version, benefits in particular from the engagement with philosophical texts, the intellectual precision, depth and energy of which can be found in the present text.

Limitierte und handgefertigte Erstauflage
Gestaltung & Illustration: Ena Johanna Rathgeb
Druck: Risofort, Hamburg