There are stalls like these all over Singapore (and probably all over the world) filled with thousands (millions?) of cheap, throwaway plastic phone covers.

You can find one to suit any (usually bad) taste. As well as seasonal ones for any of the major consumerist holidays; buy and throw away after a few days.

“Design has become the cover for unnecessary consumption.” – Peter Saville. The more design can help a manufacturer sell more of something, the more it is valued. Has the whole design profession become a mindless slave to the current simplistic and idiotically unsustainable economic system?

Why do we need these phone covers anyway? Why can’t we design products with surfaces that are actually practical for their intended application? We all know that shiny surfaces will scratch to buggery in no time. So why do manufacturers insist on using these materials? Only to spawn a whole industry of unnecessary “protective” covers? Surely this is not only irresponsible but also bad design?

“Meanwhile design, which used to be known as a profession, has become a major source of pollution.” Jasper Morrison. Every time a new gadget (like another “game changing” gadget) is introduced, it triggers a massive dump-and-buy reaction all around the world. Great news for the manufacturers of course. Not so good for just about every one else.

“We are not huge fans of Starck as we tend to consider him one of the somewhat “gimmicky” designers — together with Karim Rashid or Marcel Wanders — whose creations sometimes transcend time and become classics, yet at others appear like a flash-in-a-pan that you only want to see once. This kind of design is fun and quirky, but we get tired of it very quickly.” -- The Cool Hunter

Have some designers become so enamoured with aesthetics and easy marketing as to forget the function aspect altogether? Is it ethical and responsible to continue to design throwaway, short-term fashion-dependant goods?