If you ever need proof designers take themselves far too seriously, look no further than this rant from Carole Guevin:

Consumerism is pursuing the potentiality of an endless dream stream of profits for a few and, exploitation of the most. There is a lot of brainware involved in figuring out the best way to construct cheap and sell a lot. Problem ‘solving’ is mostly attached to return on investment (ROI). As the downfall of the industrious rip of earth resources is surfacing, we are now facing a whole new ball game where a paradigm shift is required, shoving once again creativity to the forefront.

As best can be understood, Guevin’s point seems to be that ideas are taking the place of the physical, making “creatives” the primary agents of solution and change. There’s some bits about the horrors of capitalism, and the interconnectedness of the world, but by and large this is a piece dedicated to the idea that creatives are generally awesome and the best, last hope for this oh-so-terrible world of ours.

The premise is nothing new. The Knowledge Economy has been a redundant theme in business journalism for the last decade. But we should be clear. The world is still largely focused, and will continue to be focused on physical goods. It’s just our economy that is shifting to knowledge, as our labor force has been augmented by cheaper labor in developing nations. Run a survey of the jobs of most individuals in the world and you’ll find that the vast majority are still in positions of physical output: industrial, farming or otherwise.

The irony of Guevin not recognizing this, given her emphasis on interconnectedness is astonishing.

The top of the food chain, where knowledge workers such as “creatives” sit, is growing. Advances in technology and methodology have created increases in productivity which mean fewer people are required in the production of goods. The burgeoning middle-class has increased the demand for goods though, so the virtuous cycle ensures there will always be industry. Always a need for an every increasing number of goods. This gains have created many idle hands, which are being routed more and more into the fields of communication and idea generation.

But “ideas” and “solutions” have always been highly valued. The only change is perhaps that you have more people turning out ideas, though the signal to noise ratio probably remains about the same. And while there are new specific challenges being faced by this generation, every generation has had challenges of their own to overcome; Everything is different, but everything is the same.

Designers are so low on the list of people capable of solving the problems we face that essays like Guevin’s are laughable. I don’t care how clever your layouts are, we, as designers, are incapable of solving global hunger, poverty or warming. We are what we have always been. The messenger, not the message.

Developers on the other hand …