16 November 2009

I came across this image in Wendy Macnaughton's work and it acts as a great visual reminder that while there are things we can't know, don't know, possibly fear or suspect, we have the chance to imagine what could be. So perhaps I'd draw a circle around it all and suggest that this is "the place where designers live everyday."

View image larger

I suppose my thoughts have been heightened by reading a few books and watching a few TED talks that are focused on the role of design and how it is shifting/has shifted. Last month, I devoured Tim Brown's book on a flight to New York and I'm about to ingest some Glimmer.

Another manifesto has surfaced and of late, I'm particularly drawn to #3, #7, #9 and #10 because they remind me I'm not crazy:

1. A designer does not have the luxury of cynicism.

2. It is easier to react than to create.

3. You must keep moving away from what you know.

4. A designer’s gotta have the guts to be truthful at all times.

5. People don’t fund problems, they fund solutions.

6. Many believe the world just is. Designers believe we can make the world be.

7. It can be helpful to think about an idea from a point of view that makes no sense.

8. Through the act of making things, we discover ideas.

9. When you’re totally unqualified for a job, that’s when you do your best work.

10. The goal is to be an expert coming out, not going in.

11. To bring about real change, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.

12. When the world isn’t working well, you have the makings of a great design project.

Processing these statements leads me to consider the idea of how this shift will be addressed in education. Equipping the next generation of designers is a concept that gets me really excited! I would love to see what could happen when a group of design students worked collaboratively with students from other disciplines on current wicked problems. I know some schools are already moving in this direction (and I look forward to hearing some ideas from Nathan Shedroff's talk at Practivism II) but I can see how there is room for more. I hope to explore some of the possibilities in a course I'm preparing to teach in the spring.

In the meantime, I'm trying to live in the space between what I may not yet understand and that which I can imagine. Here (or after September 14, 2009, according to Wendy Macnaugton), life gets interesting. View image larger


wendy said...

hey there. we must speak! w.

olivelife said...

Wendy has some great links to her work in Rwanda and Kenya that show some great complexities being addressed through design:
I think she and I need to hang out. In person. In Rwanda or Kenya;)